How Experian supports its scheme members at-retirement

With freedom and choice in pensions revolutionising the options available for individuals, Experian identified the need for a retirement financial education service to support its employees.

WEALTH at work were appointed in March 2018 to create a bespoke at-retirement financial education and guidance programme for around 9,500 of Experian’s Retirement Savings scheme members, who were aged 48+.

Lesley Sutherland, Group Pensions Manager and Head of Pension Projects, Experian, comments;

“Our initial research revealed a rapidly changing market with a wide range of sophisticated platforms and pricing models. We already have different providers for annuity broking and administration services, with a further possible provider for guidance and education in the mix, it was important to not to overload members with too much information from different sources. The landscape for Defined Contribution is changing rapidly and we concluded that group seminars with a specialist provider, together with one-to-one financial guidance, access to budgeting tools and regulated financial advice, was the best route for us.”

She adds; “The group seminars have had a really positive impact on interaction and engagement. Attendance levels and feedback have proved that members value being given time to talk openly with their colleagues and a specialist provider about their plans for retirement.”

Sutherland comments; “One of the key aspects of our financial education programme was to provide members with access to a free guidance service, which is supported by a regulated financial advice service that members pay for should they decide they need it. Financial advice isn’t always needed or even appropriate in some cases.”

She adds; “Following the launch of our financial education and guidance service, we can now see members making more proactive and informed contribution and investment decisions. Contribution levels are up and there’s a far greater understanding of the at-retirement options and the importance of the right glide path strategy. The seminars are an important call-to-action for retirement planning. Of those who attended the retirement financial education programme, at least 70% have asked for a follow up call for further guidance or advice, 29% have increased their pension contributions, 11% have changed their investment choice and 2% have changed their target retirement age. The scores for both the presenters and the seminar content have been really high.”