PLSA publishes employer guidance to encourage pension conversations

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has published guidance to help pension schemes and employers start a conversation with savers about their workplace pension.

The guidance, An Employer’s Guide to Talking About Workplace Pensions, aims to support employers in educating their workforce as to how their pension scheme works, how they can make the most of employer contributions, and how they can make good decisions.

Announcing the launch of the guidance, the PLSA said that many employers and schemes are keen to provide this support, but are unsure what information they can provide without falling within regulations which govern personal financial advice.

Given this, the guide describes the regulatory context, such as the "so-called advice/guidance boundary", and provides practical examples of conversations that would and would not fall within the realms of regulated advice.

It also dispels five common myths that could represent barriers to some employers and schemes, including that pension schemes should only talk about pensions or that employers cannot talk about pensions, and that giving a member any help could constitute financial advice.

The association said that it hopes the guidance, launched to coincide with Pensions Awareness Week, will give employers and schemes the confidence to start conversations with savers that will prompt good decisions led by greater understanding, which ultimately lead to better retirement outcomes.

PLSA director of policy and advocacy, Nigel Peaple, commented: “With more employers and savers involved in workplace pensions than ever before, schemes and many employers are eager to help improve savers’ understanding of their pension.

“Our new guide for employers sets out the ground rules, highlight some of the opportunities, and dispels some commonly held misunderstandings.

“There has been innovation in pensions awareness, engagement and support too, with the PLSA creating the very widely used Retirement Living Standards to help savers picture their future. And earlier this Pensions Awareness Week we set out our “Pensions: Five Things to Know” campaign which is aimed at ensuring everyone in the UK understands the basics of pension saving.

“We need to talk more about pensions. We want to dispel the myths that employers can’t talk to their staff about their workplace pension scheme or that giving any help at all would mean they are giving regulated advice.

“By starting a national conversation about workplace pensions and encouraging everybody to learn a few basics about how their retirement savings work, we believe we can promote better financial wellbeing and help more people achieve a better income in retirement.”

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