Eiopa probes occupational pension communication

Eiopa probes occupational pension communication

The European pensions regulator is looking at communication between occupational schemes and their members, citing the UK as a country with “serious problems” of engagement and awareness.

Eiopa has launched a consultation which looks at how scheme members are kept informed about their savings and their options.

It cites the UK’s new auto-enrolment regime as an example of why more action might be needed.

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The 41-page consultation document said of the UK: “Non-engaging information is not well received by members and there is an apparent link between good communication and low opt-out rates.

“There is still a serious problem of awareness and engagement, since employees have generally a low engagement level with their pension and do not know much more that the specific amount taken from their wages.”

The FCA is currently looking at how to engage consumers with the decisions they make and published a discussion paper to that effect in July.

Eiopa’s work on this issue was triggered by the results of major industry surveys which highlighted a high level of dissatisfaction amongst scheme members with the information provided to them.

The EU regulator said better information, if linked with financial education tools, could have a positive effect on members.

It has listed “good practices” which it wants to introduce, including offering the use of penisons calculators, storing all communication online in one place and offering alerts when new information becomes available.

Eiopa’s consultation runs until 22 March 2016.

Adviser view

Colin Parkin, managing director of Lincolnshire-based Ample Financial Services, said: “I would say this applies to 80 per cent of the general public.

“They have made things so complicated now, they need more qualified advisers to get into that sector of the market. I think employers have a responsibility to make their workforce aware.”