DOD’s blog: Creative, fun ideas on pensions

We are seeing a fundamental shift in the way leading employers are talking about pensions to their staff. I have seen some pretty impressive, creative ideas out there.

Last week I blogged about whether ‘pensions’ is a problem word or not (a rose by other name, would smell as sweet – or not, in the case of pensions).

This got a great response on several pensions’ LinkedIn groups, in particular Pensions Playpen, with the ‘fors’ and ‘againsts’ adding useful insights into what is wrong with our perception of pensions.

But completely independent of that, I have been looking at some super employer examples on how they tell staff about pensions.

What struck me is how many used the word ‘fun’ when defining how they wanted to make pensions appear to staff.

Gamification (using quizzes, puzzles, interactive games online) to explain budget setting or how to determine how much you will need to live on in retirement are popping up on websites and printed materials at some big brand employers.

In these examples, there is a distinct shift away from the idea that employers need to get staff to understand their pensions.

Instead the focus is on, what do employees really need to know. Namely: how much do I need in retirement? What are the things I need to do to get to that amount?
For example: How much do I need to save? How can I revise by budge to save more? When can I expect to retire?

Anything beyond that, is way beyond what the vast majority of employees can deal with.

Only a tiny minority will go so far as to look at how their pension is invested.

Most simply need to know their employer has taken good advice on decent investments that will suit most workers.

So the message is: staff will be interested in pensions if you keep messages simple, fun and relevant.

Over the coming months, hopefully we can get these creative, clever employers to share what they have been doing on communicating pensions to staff so others can ‘borrow’ and adapt these ideas for the greater good of all employees in the UK.

The future is suddenly looking brighter.

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Debi O’Donovan


Employee Benefits 

Twitter: @DebiODonovan