77% say it is employers’ role to support pension scheme members

Singleton Sophia-Aon-2015Over three-quarters (77%) of respondents believe it is the role of employers to communicate with, educate and support staff who are members of their pension scheme, according to research by Aon shows.

Its DC survey 2015, which is based on 330 responses from pension scheme managers, trustees and sponsors, found that almost half of respondents (45%) are relying on the pension provider to undertake this role.

The research also found:

  • Almost all (94%) of respondents communicate their pension scheme with members through a website, and 59% do so through email.
  • Around a third (32%) of respondents offer pre-retirement seminars for staff, and 61% deliver presentations.
  • 85% offer employees a booklet to communicate their pension scheme.
  • 39% of respondents are still targeting an annuity as the default investment option at retirement for their staff.
  • 6% do not know what their objectives are or have no business plan for their defined contribution (DC) scheme.
  • 57% of respondents name achieving better member outcomes is a top priority in their pension scheme’s business plan, and 46% cite specific communication goals as a key objective.
  • 45% would like to see evidence of increased member engagement with pensions.

Sophia Singleton (pictured), partner and head of DC consulting at Aon Hewitt, said: “DC pensions are inherently flexible, so important decisions and responsibilities are left in the hands of the member. While this allows for greater choice, it puts pressure on sponsors and pension trustees to make sure that all processes are well communicated and that members receive the right education and information to make the right choices.


“If expectations are out of step with what is realistically possible, schemes need to address this urgently to avoid future problems.”