Effective communications and engagement for confident DC outcomes

Louise Harris, 30 November 2015

On 19 November, Head of Client Communications, Louise Harris presented at the Pensions Management Institute’s (PMI) seminar on ‘Assuring confident DC outcomes’ on effective communications and engagement.

One of Louise’s focal points for the session was the application of big data to pensions and how it is central to supporting the member engagement process.

Personalisation of scheme design is key to a successful engagement strategy. Employees are acting like consumers – they expect flexibility and choice in their home life when making purchases and decisions, and this is beginning to encroach into all areas of life, including pensions.

Every scheme population is different and demographic and socioeconomic differences need to be considered in order to optimise engagement. Our Pension Scheme Insight Report highlights that communications isn’t a mere tick box exercise for Pensions Managers and Trustees, rather 59.7% wanted to actively encourage members to take greater control of their pension. Add to this the new Minimum Governance Standards which means that from April 2016, schemes must be able to demonstrate that they are helping members to get better outcomes, and this again gets back to focusing on engagement.

Worryingly, 48.6% of Pension Managers and Trustees that took part in our research did not measure the success of campaigns and 13.9% didn’t have a communication campaign period, meaning that 62.5% were communicating into the dark, not knowing the effectiveness of their campaign.

Enter Big Data.

The intelligence we can gather from pension schemes gives us the opportunity to better formulate communications campaigns, to become more in tune with what members want. But this needs to be fluid, and communications need to focus on the changing behaviours of its members. Understanding who and what your workforce are in terms of where they are in their life and the socioeconomic pressures that drive work and life decisions can be instrumental in predicting member decisions. 

Every employee has a preference as to how they like to be communicated to. Research from our Employee Insight Report found that females aged 25-34 prefer email alerts whilst males aged 55-64 prefer group presentations.  Louise used an example of the augmented reality app that our Client Communications team recently implemented for Cummins, here’s a quick video on what they did:


Louise was also live tweeting from the seminar. Here's a collection of her tweets from the session:

Presenting today on effective DC comms @PMIPensions @Capita_EB

— Louise Harris (@LouComms) November 19, 2015

ACA says people need to save 16% of earnings over their lifetime to secure a 2/3rds replacement income @PMIPensions @Capita_EB

— Louise Harris (@LouComms) November 19, 2015

Volume and slickness of admin of mastertrusts will win out on smaller trust DC schemes for value for money @PMIPensions @Capita_EB

— Louise Harris (@LouComms) November 19, 2015

48% of small and 79% of micro employers do not currently have a pension scheme. @PMIPensions @Capita_EB

— Louise Harris (@LouComms) November 19, 2015

Astounding! TPAS say most DC members contacting pension wise only want 25% tax free lump sum. Usually for debt. @Capita_EB @PMIPensions

— Louise Harris (@LouComms) November 19, 2015

TPAS say that DC members need more education well BEFORE they get to retirement so they understand their pot. @PMIPensions @Capita_EB

— Louise Harris (@LouComms) November 19, 2015

TPAS say that DC members don't yet know how to behave like a consumer with their DC pension pot. @Capita_EB @PMIPensions

— Louise Harris (@LouComms) November 19, 2015

About the author

Louise Harris Head of Client Communications

Louise Harris

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