Pension scheme member engagement requires a multi-channel, multimedia, multi-disciplinary approach according to Gerry Winters.

There is no one size fits all approach to pension scheme member engagement. Every member is different. They are at different life and career stages, have different family circumstances and have varying ambitions for their retirement. Their financial priorities also change over time.

A means of engagement that flexes to meet the needs of different members within a cost-effective structure. Invesco has devised such an approach with our new Easy Steps Engagement process.

The personalised engagement process focuses on three broad member “personas” – new hires, current members and pending retirees. The communications are designed to be directly relevant to each persona.

For example, there is little point in explaining approved retirement funds (ARFs) in depth to a new hire. In most cases retirement will be far too distant to feature in their thoughts. The most important thing at that stage is to point out the reasons for joining the scheme and explain very clearly how it works. Relevance is critically important at each stage.

The adequacy of the state pension varies according to people’s earnings and employees at the lower end of the salary scale are not going to be particularly engaged by a conversation around retirement income targets. They are, however, very likely to be interested in the potential of retiring with a significant lump sum at very little cost to themselves.

The discussion with members who are approaching retirement will be very different. First of all, there is a need to explore investment strategies. Are they aligned to the needs and ambitions of the member in question? This is the time to start talking about ARFs and how they can be constructed.

The needs of current members who are perhaps more than 20 years from retirement are to be different again. As people move through life stages their financial priorities alter. Their ability to contribute to their pension changes as their commitments move up and down.

The nature of the engagement is also very important. There is a greater emphasis on face to face meetings for members approaching retirement while other tools such as tutorial videos, tailored presentations, online access to scheme information and scheme guides are also available and are used in a blend which suits each individual member.

The Easy Steps Engagement process has proven enormously successful since its introduction. The number of new recruits joining non-mandatory schemes has increased markedly. We have also seen members become much more active in terms of their engagement with schemes and all the evidence points to a much greater level of appreciation of the benefit being provided by the employer.

For further information on the Easy Steps Engagement process contact Gerry Winters at gwinters@invesco.ie or 01 2947600.

Gerry Winters

Posted by Gerry Winters

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