Before you can think about making any changes, you need to be honest about your existing pension communications.

How to do it…

Find your “what” – plan the pension scheme change

This part is where it can be easy to completely lose the run of yourself. It could take as long as five years for this transformation to fully take shape, so cast aside any thoughts of this being a job that can be completed overnight.

According to the charity Shareaction, a monstrous 90% of pension members are not connected with their pension provider in an online space. To an employee communications agency like us, that’s a figure powerful enough to make toes curl in myriad directions.

Don’t walk alone, and don’t simply dictate to members what these pension changes will entail. Internal focus groups can help you ascertain the wants and pain points of your members, as well as unlocking behaviour change champions and evangelists among those involved in the process.

It might be a one-stop shop app that has documents and messaging just a swipe away, animated summaries to land key information quicker or a campaign to make employee financial wellbeing more relatable to their lived experience.

As people and change consulting experts, it’s our passion to bring these projects to life and help build the foundations upon which a long-term company communication strategy can be built.

Find your “how” – communicate the pensions plan

As above, it may be that your communication runs in stages to match the bigger-picture approach you ought to take to these changes.

If these changes are to be gradual, sharing a roadmap with members gives them the reassurance that there is a bigger plan in play. Define success at every step to offer verifiable signposts that members can monitor for signs of progress.

A closely associated example is the Pensions Dashboards Programme’s own timeline for implementation.

The programme has the potential to revolutionise how providers and trustees communicate pensions to members but remains years from completion. The timeline not only offers the signposts for consumers to look out for but sets measurable expectations of all major stakeholders.

Applying similar transparency to a digital transformation campaign gives you an ever-present end goal and helps to avoid meandering towards it. Instead, taking the path of least resistance is likely to collect a far more engaged group along for the ride.

Find your “when” – define the return on investment

By this stage, your members should be well prepared for what changes are afoot and are likely to be asking, ‘What’s this going to cost me?’

The transparency and detail that you are no doubt famed for by this point should extend further to this phase.

Offer members a full breakdown, including:

  • Costs: Annually, monthly, per member – the more the merrier, and the better informed to boot.
  • Benchmarks: Where does this stand alongside other schemes? It doesn’t have to be a rock-bottom contribution compared to others; many will be enthused by matching other industry-leading providers.
  • Benefits: This is where the ROI is hammered home. Will a reduction in printed comms result in cost savings to end-users? Does the automation of tasks and extra time afforded to provider staff mean greater efficiency in plan returns? Can a boost in engagement be expected on the back of this, meaning members will have greater clarity over their full spectrum of advantages?

Communicate the employee benefits

Any changes to the handling of members’ personal finances require delicate management in terms of the alterations themselves and also how that is communicated.

Our track record in change communication campaign strategy speaks for itself, but if you’d like a chat about what Gallagher can do to help bring your pension scheme into the 21st century, we’d be happy to offer more information.

Member engagement in the digital age

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