Personalised pension communications most effective

Employers should personalise their pensions communications to staff as much as possible according to the 2010 Pensions Communications Project.

The research identifies how UK pension schemes can improve their communications and achieve greater engagement with defined contribution (DC) scheme members.

The research, which was sponsored by six pension industry firms and the National Association of Pension Funds, was conducted by Spence Johnson.

The research firm collected 90 campaigns and strategies from the leading DC pension industry professionals in the US, Australia, Canada and six other countries during the first quarter of 2010.

Magnus Spence, director of Spence Johnson, said: “These conclusions will be challenging for many pensions schemes which currently tend to believe engagement is best achieved by creating small-scale segmented campaigns.

“Our message is that this low-scale, marketing-led approach does not allow for the cost-effective use of vital new communications techniques – particularly personalisation – which we think is key to future engagement success.”

Nils Johnson, director of Spence Johnson, added: “Too many pensions professionals seem stuck on the idea that education is the key to engagement. 

“We have shown that campaigns that attempt to teach people investment basics are likely to be ineffective. UK pension trustees need to look at what works in the DC world which is to give members help with their specific and personalised questions of ‘what to do’.”

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