EXCLUSIVE: Majority of employers use in-house teams to provide at-retirement support

EXCLUSIVE: Despite the increased sense that it is a pension provider’s responsibility, the primary source of at-retirement support continues to be HR, benefits, reward, and learning and development teams (34%), and in-house pensions teams (13%), according to research by Employee Benefits.

The Employee Benefits/Wealth at Work Pensions research 2019, which was conducted during October 2019 among 135 HR decision makers, also found that many organisations, however, do look to external bodies, with 17% turning to their pension provider, 15% relying on independent financial advisers, 13% enlisting their benefits consultant and 4% using a specialist provider.

For more than half (53%) of employers, at-retirement support takes the form of access to financial advice; this was also one of the most popular support methods in 2018 (56%) and 2017 (61%).

Around two-fifths (43%), on the other hand, provide online modellers, although this is a 14 percentage point drop since 2018, while there has also been 10-point decline between 2018 and 2019 in the use of intranets to provide at-retirement information.

Although the proportion of employers offering support to staff reaching retirement age has gradually risen over the years, a considerable number of methods have decreased in popularity year on year. For example, offering staff the option to draw down their pension has dropped by 11 percentage points, to 23%, while running comprehensive communications campaigns has fallen by 16 percentage points since 2018.