The ‘Pension Attention’ campaign was launched in the autumn of 2022 and is the product of an unprecedented cross-industry collaboration led by 13 pension providers and schemes representing approximately 45 million savers and customers. It’s the first time that so many pension providers and schemes across the UK have united behind the same call to action – to boost #PensionAttention.
With the cost of living increasing by the day, I think it's important to point out that this campaign is not just about getting people to save more into their pension in the short term. Right now clearly isn’t the right time to do that, particularly given there are likely to be day-to-day costs that need to take priority.
The campaign is not a one-off, looking to create change quickly. Instead, it's a multi-year effort that all of us at Smart Pension are fully supporting. Everyone saving into a pension is putting aside money for their future. We want to help people understand where the money they have saved is and the simple steps they can take to keep track of it. We hope that the campaign will encourage people to understand what pension savings they have, to register online and update their contact details. That’s the first step, and if the campaign can achieve that then that will be a great start.
I think that in previous years there has been a reluctance among the Defined Contribution pension providers, given the reliance upon inertia for auto enrolment, to “wake people up”. I know I've been concerned in the past about what negative behaviours we might introduce, and have actively tried to avoid worst case scenarios. These scenarios could include huge numbers of members deciding to stop paying money into their pension each month, or people making poor, uninformed decisions like changing into lower risk funds which may not give them the returns they require for a good retirement. In my experience, whilst these risks do exist, the worst case scenarios do not happen often enough to shy away from engaging members.
And there’s lots of research out there that tells us that if most adults save less than 8% each month towards their retirement, it doesn’t create an 'adequate' income for them in retirement. So there’s an even greater and more urgent need to kick this conversation off, rather than waiting for policy changes to be agreed and then take effect.
I was part of the team that selected the partner agency (TeamSpirit) to deliver this Pension Attention campaign. I recently spoke on a panel at The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association Annual Conference and we all agreed how impressed we are with the collaborative approach of the representatives of all of the organisations involved in the campaign. It’s really encouraging to see how we could apply this collective effort to other industry challenges and work together on the same goal of helping people save enough for retirement.
I’m really excited to see what results this campaign brings and I hope that the repetition of the central key messages – and the logo and bold graphics used – will create an echoing effort both throughout and outside the industry to cut through to consumers.
#PensionAttention wants the whole pension industry (and beyond!) to support the campaign. That’s why there is a toolkit of information, assets and key messages for firms, schemes and supporters.
Launched in 2015, Smart Pension exceeds £4bn in assets under management (AUM) and now serves over one million members and more than 70,000 employers. It is powered by Keystone, Smart’s global savings and investments technology platform.
Aquiline Capital Partners, Barclays, Chrysalis Investments, DWS Group, Fidelity International Strategic Ventures, J.P. Morgan, Legal & General Investment Management, Link Group and Natixis Investment Managers are all investors in Smart Pension.