Holding out for a (pensions) hero
Pensions. The dreaded P-word. For many, an elusive concept that fills them with fear and uncertainty every time they think about their future. A distant pot of money buffeted by invisible market forces and controlled by a faceless master. A never-ending merry-go-round of updated rules and changing regulations. Who could keep up even if they wanted to?
We’re constantly faced with worrying stats from the latest report on how young people and women are sleepwalking into a retirement nightmare. Pension-related pledges are often at the forefront of Government manifestos and used as a tool to maintain the support of the public. The media love a good scare story on why we’ve all started saving 20 years too late for retirement and yet, many of us still continue to avoid the topic at all costs.
Perhaps retirement feels too distant a milestone for people to worry about today, particularly when there are mortgages and bills to think about and maybe even the odd holiday to pay for (read: staycation on the coast)? Or, perhaps people don’t like to think about the later phases of their lives as they prefer to avoid any thought of their own mortality and the concerns that come as we age?
Either way, the nation needs to think about how it will fund its future and clearly, the current methods that are being used to encourage this are not doing a good enough job.
The blame game
But whose responsibility really is it to change this pattern? Is it the Government who could extend the current auto-enrolment scheme to employees earning less than £10,000 to enable 4.3m more workers to be included in their workplace pension? Or, is it the regulator who could compel pension providers and advisers to more actively engage with their customers far earlier on and in a language that is better suited to their needs?
Perhaps it is the job of the industry itself to band together in a rallying cry to the nation, pool their resources and launch an accessible, educational campaign culminating in that ultimate call to action: engage with your pension today to secure your future tomorrow.
A challenge and an opportunity
The task of encouraging Brits to look at their pensions and actively prepare for retirement is essentially a communications challenge and with such tasks come the opportunity to establish a successful brand.
Whoever the responsible party may be, to be known as the group or provider who turned the future of the nation around seems like a pretty great PR win to me.
Getting the country to engage with their pensions will be no mean feat, but for the contender who is willing to take on the challenge, the opportunity is there for the taking.
Kaj Sahota, Account Director at Instinctif Partner