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Five considerations when communicating with employees about pensions

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The recent UK Budget has turned the spot light increasingly on pensions and the shift into defined contribution (DC), from final salary pensions. As the pace at which assets are flowing into DC gains momentum, how companies are talking to their employees about pensions has become ever more important.

To support the launch of their new website, designed to help pension trustees and HR individuals communicate with their employees, J.P. Morgan Asset Management has produced a five step check list for companies to consider when engaging with their employees on pensions.



Clear and simple, jargon free language is paramount – speak in plain English

Think about the user experience – how would you feel if you have just received this communication?

Use stories from real people to help explain concepts; have all the information available, but don’t bog people down with too much detail and too many choices; Communicate on matters that really have an impact on replacement income in retirement: Can I afford to save any more and when do I think I will retire?

J.P. Morgan Asset Management has adopted this check list when building their new website, designed to support those responsible for a company’s defined contribution (DC) pension explain to employees the concept of target date funds. Not your usual financial website, the unique site has been built solely to appeal to employees in the UK and is jargon free, simplistic and easy to navigate. Annabel Duncan, Client Adviser in UK Defined Contribution at J.P. Morgan Asset Management said: “An increasing number of companies are moving from final salary pensions to defined contribution. In addition the recent pensions announcements at the Budget around alternatives to annuities and charging caps has put pensions into the spot light. Communicating effectively with members about how their retirement savings are being looked after is more important than ever.”

The new website includes animations and short films from real people about their pensions and what they think about concerning retirement. Duncan went on to say, “We believe communicating with employees about their pension needs to be a positive experience and one that allows members to focus on simple decisions that are actionable. At the moment, most employees receive communications about their pension that are riddled with complex language, that ultimately leaves them feeling stupid because they don’t understand it and unsure of what they need to do. As an industry we need to deliver communications that enable members to feel confident that their employer has chosen an appropriate option for them to save into and that they can focus on the decisions that will have the greatest impact on their income in retirement: Can I afford to save any more and When do I think I will retire?”

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