Pension scheme take-up boosted to 90% by regular reminders of the benefits of saving

If you want your employees to value their company pension you must tell them regularly about the benefits of saving, warned pension provider Winterthur.

Caroline Durn, communication consultant for Winterthur, said in order to get staff to take an active part in saving for their own retirement HR experts must communicate the benefits of setting cash aside through a variety of different media.

Speaking at the Employee Benefits Exhibition and Conference at London’s Business Design Centre earlier today, she said effective employee communications programmes could generate dramatic increases in pension scheme take-up.

In some cases, she said effective communications of the benefits of ploughing cash into an occupational pension saw take-up soar from below 40% to almost 90%.

Durn said: “If you create bespoke educational programmes that reflect the specific needs of the organisation and its workforce, you can change the perception of saving for retirement dramatically – not only increasing pension scheme take-up but employee contribution levels as well.

“The profile of the workforce is an important factor in tailoring communications and often the hardest task is getting younger people to take an interest in their pension provision.

“Making it relevant to this audience is very important. Educating the older workforce should also not be overlooked, as providers need to ensure they are making enough provision and reviewing their fund options on a regular basis.”

Key to the success of any communications programme, Durn said, was having a dedicated team responsible for planning and executing a tailored education programme for clients, often working in conjunction with an employee benefits consultant.

She said: “This programme should include enrolment presentations, financial awareness education, pre-retirement seminars and one to one consultations.

“A range of marketing material should also be deployed such as posters, direct mailers, payslip inserts, scheme summaries, videos, DVDs and newsletters or articles, all of which could be fully customised.

“The publicity surrounding pensions means that it is increasingly important to encourage employees to join their company pension schemes. Streamlined joining is, of course, a big help in achieving this.”

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