Employers have a responsibility to help their workforce safeguard their financial future. This is especially important post-Covid-19; many households saw their income drop as lockdown affected employment and many may still be struggling with financial insecurity.
And there’s a long-term impact too. In an atmosphere of uncertainty and financial strain, employees may have reduced or stopped their pension contributions to put more money in their pocket in the short term.
Even in normal times, people often feel disengaged from their pension because it seems like a long way off, or they find the subject too complex. But by not saving for the future, they may be forced to work into their retirement years, or risk running out of money in old age.
So how can employers tackle the pension challenge?
Working in tandem with government and individuals, employers have an important role to play in helping their employees plan for retirement. They are well-placed to offer structured guidance and timely signposting to their staff. They can provide pension advice and services themselves or through a trusted partner.
Employees need to know:
- about your company pension scheme – will they get matched contributions?
- how much they’ll need in their pension pot
- what they’ll get from the government
- how to access pension schemes from past jobs
- how to cover a shortfall, including options for pushing back their retirement age
- what their current contributions should be to reach their savings goal.
Getting the word out
How you deliver this information to employees – and get them to engage with their pension – will depend on your organisation and employee profile.
Email and online platforms are valuable, but companies with large numbers of staff who don’t have email will need to offer more options, such as:
- roadshows – making sure all shift patterns have the opportunity to attend
- 1:1 financial mentoring – in person, over the phone or online
- conferences/webinars – group informational sessions available in person or online
- employee benefits app on smartphones – a great place to host financial wellbeing info that employees can access 24/7
- printed materials like posters and desk drops
- one of our clients even gamified pensions with an Age Me interactive app which showed employees what they would look like at retirement age!
It’s worth getting creative on your mission to communicate, engage and educate employees about their pension and retirement provisions.
The author is Andrew Walker, business development director at Personal Group.
Article published on REBA on 28th September 2021