I attended Pensions Live yesterday, the annual gathering of pensions professionals from across the UK to address the biggest challenges trustees and schemes are facing.
The macro-economic climate is challenging – we’re facing rising taxes, ageing population, inflation, fewer getting on the property ladder, higher state pension ages… the cheerful outlook goes on.
Couple this with the continual shift to DC schemes and a move away from annuities, the risk is firmly on the shoulders of the individual. But are individuals empowered to make informed decisions that are right for them?
The resounding answer is no. According to the 2023 Scottish Widows survey, 61% of people surveyed are worried, 59% have low numeracy skills and 37% approaching retirement have no financial plan.
So, what can help?
- Pensions Dashboards Programme. This government initiative is currently being built, but once live it will empower people to find and access multiple pension pots securely in one place.
- Increased use of technology. We rely increasingly on mobile phones – from staying connected with each other to online banking. It’s important to meet people where they are, so give access to pensions information in an app. Consider using artificial intelligence to model scenarios and crunch data, to help people make informed decisions.
- Effective communication and education. Employers and their providers need a joined-up approach to help employees understand their pension. Use different channels to reach different audiences and meet people where they are. For example, a platform like TikTok can help promote thought leadership to a younger generation.
- Create interesting content. There’s no such thing as a dull subject, only dull content. Try to make your communications personal, relevant and captivating so that you can hold your audience’s attention.
- Build a communication strategy. Don’t wait for the storm. Create a clear and robust strategy that will guide your employee communications. Remember to:
- Know your message and audience
- Use a mix of channels
- Review, improve and repeat
People’s personal finances are complex, with ever-increasing variables to consider. Our communications need to take a holistic view and consider the key milestones in the employee journey.
This event has certainly empowered me to focus attention on the value our pension brings to our team – energising me to make a few improvements of our own! I hope you’re inspired too.