AKQA engages employees with retirement planning through one-to-one support


With a predominantly younger workforce, generating interest in, and engagement with, pensions and retirement income can be a challenge for digital agency AKQA.

The agency, which employs 400 people in the UK but has 17 offices globally, offers a contract-based defined contribution (DC) group personal pension scheme, into which employees are auto-enrolled. The organisation, which has worked with Lemonade Reward since 2011, very much focuses its pensions financial education around face-to-face communication.

Naomi Cameron, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) payroll and benefits manager, says: “Younger employees are less likely to think or worry about the future; they are often quite happy to pay their 1% auto-enrolment contribution and not opt for anything higher than that. Older employees, by comparison, we find will be more likely to opt for a higher rate.

“Even with higher earners, however, [we] can find people do not properly calculate what they will need to live off in retirement and just opt for the minimum rate. For example, [they] have to factor in things such as health costs and inflation, as well as basic likely living costs.”

AKQA runs presentations every quarter, as well as offering one-to-one in-depth discussions with employees and all new joiners about what they want when they retire.

Cameron says: “People do want advice, especially when it comes to pensions. We do have an online tool where [they] can check [their] pension. But we tend to find face-to-face is the most effective.

“If you sit [employees] down in front of someone and have a proper conversation, then it is much more likely to work, in our experience. The feedback we have from employees is that they love the advice and find it valuable.”