The cookie monster myth!

Cookies have developed a bad reputation over the years, portrayed as invisible, digital extensions of the big brother society. Yet, the reality is very different. Used responsibly and ethically, cookies help companies and organisations to make life online quicker and easier for people. Please read on for more information on what cookies are and how we use them.

What are cookies

Cookies are small files, or little bits of code, that are stored on your browser, computer hardware or other device when you visit websites. These files perform a variety of functions and have different lifespans: some expire as soon as you leave the website, while others may last for as long as a couple of years (unless you remove them…more on that in a moment).

How we use cookies

  • To make sure our website runs smoothly while you are using it and to improve navigation. For example: You can use the back button on your browser to return to the last page you visited because of one of the cookies we use.
  • To gather information on how you arrived at our website and then used it. This way we can learn more about what people want to know and in what order. For example: We can use the data we gather to change the layout or position of a webpage, to make it easier for people to find and use.
  • To find out which of our online adverts and messages work. The internet is a noisy place and the less unwanted noise we create, the better. For example: We can determine which Facebook and Google ads make a connection with people and ditch the ones that don’t.
  • To deliver personalised information based on what someone has previously shown an interest in, or where a client is at on their journey. For example: We can identify if you have already begun a pension review with us and tailor our website with information we think will be most useful for you.

Introducing the types of cookie that we use

The cookies we use are set when someone submits a form, logs-in, or interacts with the site in a way that goes beyond clicking or simple links. Some of these cookies are essential and our website won’t work as it should do without them. Others are non-essential and simply gather data on how people interact with our site; this helps us to improve a visitor’s experience. Let’s have a look in more detail at the different types of cookie we use. Necessary cookies These cookies make sure our website runs effectively. Without them our website would be slow and cumbersome and some aspects of it might not work at all. Statistical cookies The cookies gather anonymous data that helps us to understand how, when and why people use our website. We use this data to make our website better and easier to use. Performance cookies These are another set of cookies that help us to improve our website and other digital communications. For example, we can use the data gathered to monitor which of our online adverts work best, or to tailor the website for a returning visitor. Email cookies These cookies help us to gather all sorts of information about the emails we send to subscribers. We can look at things like: how many times an email has been opened and which links have been clicked. These cookies do not store a file on your computer.

How to block or remove cookies

When was the last time you visited a website and quickly became frustrated with it?

A website can contain all the useful information in the world but it’s next to useless if the customer journey is slow or illogical.

Cookies play a vital role in making sure our website is quick and easy for people to find and explore. We get that cookies are not for everyone, though.

If they are not for you, then it is easy to block or remove the cookies we use by changing the settings on your browser. There are plenty of sites that will help you to do this, such as

Please remember that blocking or removing cookies could make your website journeys slow and difficult.

Our cookie policy is part of our overall privacy notice, which you can read here.