With 62%[1] of UK adults unaware of what their pension pot will be worth when they retire, never has it felt so important to talk about and celebrate the workplace pension.  But more importantly than this, we should be encouraging people to start planning, and taking action when it comes to their own retirement.

And, a timely point to do this is now, Pensions Awareness Day.  An awareness event which takes place annually on the 15th September to promote the importance of saving for the future and engaging the UKs workforce with their retirement saving.

The good thing is, more people than ever are enrolled into a workplace pension, thanks in part to the introduction of automatic enrolment, but where I believe we still fall down, is really engaging our workforce with their pension.  I do of course believe that automatic enrolment has been valuable, the statistics prove this – more than 9 million employees[2] having been enrolled into their workplace pension.  However, I would question, how many of these 9 million employees are truly engaged with their pension.

We know that pensions and retirement planning is often perceived as dull, complex and something that, certainly when we’re that bit younger, we feel can be ‘put off until tomorrow’.  We need to challenge this view and this is where we as employers should be stepping in.

There are many things you can do to engage your employees and get them to take action, including:

  • Make the information interesting.  Challenge the notion that pensions are boring.  Why not add some fun to your pension communications, and ensure you are telling your people what you need to, and wherever possible use plain English language that your people will understand.
  • Highlight the benefits of your workplace pension.  If you offer pensions salary sacrifice, or a contribution basis greater than the minimum automatic enrolment requirements, tell your people about it.  You could highlight how much they could save in a year if they take advantage of these additional savings methods – it may be greater than they might think.
  • Encourage your employees to think about the lifestyle they would want in retirement and provide examples of what they could be doing to meet their lifestyle objectives.
  • Work with a trusted adviser / employee benefits consultant to deliver engaging presentations and create a communications campaign that encourages your people to want to learn more and get the most out of their pension saving.
  • If you can, work with a trusted adviser / employee benefits consultant to offer your people pensions advice day meetings. A valuable employee benefit.
  • Make information readily available and easy to find.  If you have an intranet or an online benefits portal, encourage your people to use this as well.

My biggest piece of advice though, don’t make your pensions communication and engagement a one off piece.  Utilise awareness days such as this, but also consider putting in place a communications plan that allows you to spread your pensions messaging throughout the year.  It’s important that your employees are reminded about their pension regularly to ensure they remain engaged, keep up to date with your offering and fully understand what their position will be when do eventually come to retire.

Find out more about pensions communication and engagement here.

Information correct as at 15th September 2019.

Secondsight is a trading name of Foster Denovo Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

[1] https://www.fosterdenovo.com/my-resources/whitepaper-planning-brighter-tomorrow/

[2] https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/workplacepensions/articles/pensionparticipationatrecordhighbutcontributionsclusteratminimumlevels/2018-05-04

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