L’Oreal launches pensions communications campaign

L’Oreal has launched a new communications campaign to engage its 3,000 UK staff with pensions ahead of the 2012 reforms.

The drive began in June and will continue until the cosmetics and beauty firm’s staging date in 2013. Matthew Scott, HR compensation and benefits director at L’Oreal, said: “We are trying to work out how to get from 30% membership to 80% before auto-enrolment.”

L’Oreal has had a trust-based defined contribution scheme since February 2004. Challenges include the need to tailor the scheme to young staff (average age is 35) and communicating to the 2,000 beauty consultants who work independently at stores. Scott added: “We can only communicate with them via direct mail and annual conferences. In that group of staff, there is only 13% membership.”

The campaign is the final stage of a three-tiered strategy. In the first phase, in 2010, technical adjustments were made to the scheme to improve accessibility. “We used to have a six-month service requirement before joining, but we find it easier to get staff when they join,” said Scott. “Also, we had multiple investment options which were confusing to staff. We found 95% went for one option anyway, so we removed the others.”

This year, L’Oreal gave its pension literature a makeover. It ran focus groups among staff, then pared down the literature to a few pages, using simpler language. It now plans to roll the booklets out to all staff behind beauty counters, starting with new joiners.

At the moment, the booklets do not include details of auto-enrolment. “We have done the work with auto-enrolment in mind, so it is easily adaptable,” said Scott.

Read more articles on communicating the 2012 pension reforms