PMI/Towers Watson research: Pension scheme members want information in one place

The majority (84%) of pensions scheme managers agree that members want to be able to see all their pensions in one place to be able to realistically assess their total retirement income.

The same proportion (84%) agree pensions schemes should do more to promote pensions websites.

The findings are from the joint online survey Pensions websites – what do members need? by the Pensions Management Institute (PMI) and Towers Watson, which aimed to gather opinion about how pensions websites should be shaped going forwards.

Other findings include:

• 74% of respondents felt pensions websites needed more graphics and animation as well as informative text to ensure the site had appeal to the widest community of members;

• 88% felt websites should have more interactive questionnaires and profilers to improve members’ understanding of investments and relative risks;

• 75% stated a preference for members to be able to generate quotations of all the key benefit events online;

• 73% supported segmentation of members by profile to achieve better targeting of website text and communications. By analysing the members’ personal details and behaviour, technology can ‘predict’ the most appropriate text;

• 59% of respondents felt members are uncomfortable making decisions online;

• 60% did not agree schemes should discourage human contact to promote the website as the primary source of information.

Clive Witherington, director of business development technology and administration solutions, EMEA, at Towers Watson, said: “A pensions website is important to members especially during out of office hours or for those on the move, however it is one strand of the members’ need.

“The website needs to be designed to provide the type of support and help members want alongside email, telephone contact and face-to-face interaction. Websites which strive to deliver total content may be attempting to deliver to a requirement which can only be satisfactorily met by human contact.”

Read more articles on pensions technology