Summit news: GlaxoSmithKline increases staff pension contributions

GlaxoSmithKline motivated 800 employees to increase their pension contributions by carrying out a targeted communications campaign.

Speaking at the Employee Benefits Summit on ‘Developing an education programme to drive employee awareness’, Julie Skidmore, communications and training manager, said that the organisation targeted 3,500 employees who paid between 0 and 3% into their pension. If staff contribute 4% of salary, GlaxoSmithKline will match this.

“We wanted to change employee behaviour. Our research [showed] employees were either doing nothing or the 4% match” she explained.

The company tailored its communications to suit each section of its workforce, sending email invitations to its site-based staff and letters to employees who don’t have email access to work. It also devised web-based presentation for its field-based staff. “We wanted to appeal to people’s emotions to get them to really think about the fact they’re missing out on real money,” said Skidmore.

It also held on-site presentations for staff, although many had already taken action following previous communications. “The email and letter alone caused people to call to action so our carefully put together presentations weren’t very well attended,” said Skidmore.

The presentations explained the lifestyle costs people can typically expect to incur during retirement and how these will coincide with a reduced income in order to encourage staff to increase their contributions.†