Engaging people with their pensions through the power of personalised communication

Date Published

03/06/2021

Reading time

4 mins read

We’re working with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to empower its employees to make active and informed choices about their financial future by implementing a brand-new communications strategy, which is significantly increasing their engagement with the company’s pension scheme.

Many people find pensions boring, difficult to understand and easy to ignore. Our own research into the state of pensions in the UK revealed that 61% of the 2,017 employees who took part were confused by pensions and 72% weren’t engaged with their company pension.

That was bad enough in 2019, when we produced our Future Face of Pensions report. Since then, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant effect on the workplace and on people’s ability to save for retirement. So it’s now even more crucial for organisations to engage employees with their pension schemes so that they’re making choices and decisions that will give them the best possible outcomes when they retire.

Despite running a very generous pension scheme offering substantial benefits to its employees, Pfizer found itself needing to act on poor employee engagement early in 2020. Members weren’t engaged with the scheme and Pfizer felt that its communications with them had become stale.

The scheme trustees wanted communications to properly reflect the high standard of provision, so the company turned to Capita for strategic help in developing a fresh look and feel for its pension communications and a new strategy to underpin them.

Our employee engagement team used their deep expertise in and experience of creating eye-catching communications to really drive the message home to employees about the importance of saving now for the retirement they want.

They agreed a clear vision with Pfizer for its pension communications, with specific short-, medium- and long-term goals for member engagement, and developed a coherent and practical strategy for achieving those goals.

The vision was to enable every scheme member to recognise the important role of their pension as a financial asset, and to empower them to make active, informed choices that would positively affect their financial future.

Once they had established Pfizer’s priorities, they carried out insight work, including running focus groups with disengaged scheme members, to uncover gaps in employees’ understanding of and appreciation for the scheme.

The team then used this data and insight to help Pfizer to run a structured educational campaign, featuring emails segmented by age group. The messages were tailored to the needs and aspirations of each group so they would be relevant and personalised, and they were supported with online features such as a contribution calculator that would engage members even more.

Our experts refreshed Pfizer’s communications with a new look and feel that featured images of people that resonated with each age group, to make the pension scheme feel more personal and to develop a powerful brand and sense of continuity for the campaign.

The campaign, which is still running, has already had an incredibly positive impact on Pfizer Group Pension Scheme members’ engagement. In the month after its launch, there were 3,529 visits to the scheme’s public website up from 208 in the previous month. Members aged over 35 opened 10% more emails about their pensions, while members aged under 35 opened 43% more. The number of members clicking through to the website from an email increased by 90% and the average length of time that members spent on the website tripled.

It’s easy to see why the campaign had such a positive effect. After receiving an email highlighting the benefits of contributing to a pension fund sooner rather than later, one member said: “As someone who doesn’t have the best understanding of pensions, this guide was brilliant – really helpful, informative and easy to understand.”

But the campaign doesn’t end here. Pfizer will continue to use the new design for all its future communications, and the objectives created together with our employee engagement experts will be implemented for all future strategies and plans. This will allow Pfizer to continue to encourage its employees to engage with their pensions and understand their true value.

To find out how we can help you to educate, empower and engage your pension scheme members, contact us using the button below.

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