Pensions industry joins forces under national engagement campaign

Over 30 million pension savers are being targeted in a new cross-industry campaign designed to boost people’s understanding of and engagement with their pensions, with 15 pension providers and schemes already signed up.

The campaign will initially run in autumn/winter of this year, and will be led by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA).

As it grows, savers will be able to see the campaign in a variety of formats and places, including social media and in digital and written communications from their pension schemes.

These communications will share tips on how to identify who pension providers are, make sure contact details are up-to-date and check how much members have saved towards retirement, and will also help people prepare for pension dashboards.

It is designed to help savers understand the basics of pensions, after research suggested that only 20 per cent of people are confident they are saving enough for retirement, raising concerns that “millions” of people are at risk of adequacy concerns if action is not taken.

Around 15 providers and schemes, representing 41.5 million savers and customers, have already committed to supporting the campaign, with a collective investment of at least £1m for the organisation over the next three years, and a multiple of this amount in scheme and provider specific resources to further amplify the campaign.

It is thought to be the first time that so many pension providers and schemes across the UK have united behind the same call to action, with the concerted action expected to reach 10s of millions of savers across a variety of pension vehicles as a result.

The work will also complement the work of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), with resources to be made freely available to use by all those who wish to participate, including employers, regulators, and government departments.

Commenting on the launch of the campaign, Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman, stated: “Engagement season will complement the crucial work already underway on pensions dashboards and simpler statements, helping savers get to grips with their pensions and bringing retirement saving into everyday conversation.”

“I warmly welcome this campaign from the ABI and PLSA and look forward to working together – and with other industry partners – to help bring about a step change in how the record number of Brits now saving for retirement engage with their pension.”

ABI director of long-term savings policy, Yvonne Braun, added: “We know that seven out of ten people find pensions overly complex and difficult to understand.

"This needs to change, fast. Uniting pension providers and schemes around an engagement season focused on pension basics could have a real impact on people’s understanding of the importance of their pension and prepare the ground for pensions dashboards.

"It will also complement the government’s drive to increase engagement which we wholeheartedly support.”

Adding to this, PLSA director of policy and advocacy, Nigel Peaple, highlighted the level of engagement seen around the PLSA’s retirement living standards as demonstration that savers want simple, jargon-free information to help them get their pension savings working for them.

“By committing all corners of the pensions industry to pull together on a concentrated engagement campaign – and with the support of the DWP – we have the potential to move the dial in helping savers understand their pension so that more people have a better income in retirement,” he continued.

The sponsors for the campaign are: Aviva, Standard Life, Scottish Widows, Nest, Royal London, Pru, Fidelity International, The People’s Pension, Smart Pension, Legal & General Investment Management, and Now Pensions.

In addition to this, Hargreaves Lansdown, Railpen, Universities Superannuation Scheme and Just Group are backing the campaign as supporters.

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