Marketing automation is now giving employers new tools to engage employees more fully in their pensions and retirement planning.
Despite the fact that the financial decisions employees take today determine every aspect of their quality of life in their older years, too few employees are well-informed about pensions and retirement planning.
Statistics show the extraordinary scale of the problem. Six million employees pay into a workplace pension without knowing if it’s a defined contribution or defined benefit scheme. About 900,000 people who accessed a DC pension in the last two years say they didn’t understand the options they had ‘very well’.
Alarmingly, the likelihood that many people will lack an adequate income in their later years is rising. In 2016, the Pension and Life Time Savings Association (PLSA) found that over 50 per cent of the 25.5 million people employed at that time in the UK weren’t saving enough to support themselves in retirement.
There is a consistent need to evolve engagement around pensions and savings, supported by the industry-wide interest in increasing engagement across the board.
Positive change on the horizon
Standard Life has been able to use database technology to communicate engagement and other pensions information with large populations of employees for years, but up to now, the marketing automation technology was not always sophisticated enough to permit a vast degree of flexibility or customisation.
However with advances in marketing automation technology, it is now possible for marketers to design and build more data-driven, personalised engagement programs. The new marketing automation technology allows us to create tailored messages that resonate for individual employees and guide them through their financial journey by being more relevant, timely and personalised.
Engagement is one of the key pillars (along with investments and contributions) in supporting good retirement savings outcomes. As the marketing technology marketplace continues to evolve, our investment and use of technology means we are able to support employees and employers in benefiting from these capabilities.
Research-based insights drive success
But even more than mere technical innovation was needed to deploy advanced technology effectively. We also had to incorporate our understanding of customer behaviour. Data gathered from our Moments that Matter research provided us with a deeper knowledge of the key factors that influence employee engagement.
People are more receptive to messages about financial matters during particular times in their lives. As a result of this study, we can identify the moments to craft tailored messages to encourage employees to make better financial decisions. We can also track the employee behaviours and follow-up with the employees via additional communications as needed.
The personal information which pension-holders supply when they enroll in a pension scheme is a core part of the approach. The technology and our approach, for example, takes basic demographic information, such as a birth date, a hiring date, or a retirement date, to trigger relevant personalised communications. For example, a new hire who joins a pension scheme receives a welcome letter which reinforces good saving. Another employee, closer to retirement age, is reminded to review pension balances and consider what actions they can take to optimise their pension savings.
New approaches, better results
Today’s marketing automation technology is helping us to build programs with greater levels of personalisation for pension communications with employees. We’re finding this new approach helps employees stay engaged with their pensions and retirement planning, thus increasing their chances of better retirement outcomes.