Pension videos could boost guidance take-up, govt told

Pension videos could boost guidance take-up, govt told
 Guy Opperman via Parliament website

Videos could help get up to 60 per cent of people to take up the government's free pensions guidance offer, a response to a Work and Pensions Committee inquiry has claimed.

Responding to the WPC's inquiry, pensions engagement platform Money Alive proposed 'Project 60' - a way to use videos to provide good quality information to people about their retirement options, with a link through to the Money and Pensions Service's free guidance as the call to action.

The proposal suggested providing the pension scheme's retiring members with an easy-to-click, low-friction way of watching an impartial video that outlines all their options, and then giving them one single call to action to get free government guidance.

By doing this, Money Alive said it believed the take-up of the guidance service could rise from the 14 per cent who currently use it to nearer 60 per cent.

According to its response: "This is a huge, and Money Alive believe, achievable increase in the number currently taking advantage of the offer of free impartial guidance.

"Because the idea is partly delivered and facilitated by existing technology, it can be cost neutral and piloted now."

The video would act as the primary engagement and information delivery "mechanism", the company's response stated. 

The second stage will be to "triage" the viewer and help them onto the next stage of their journey, once the person has watched the proposed "Pension Wise Pension Freedoms" educational box set. 

Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham and chairman of the WPC, told FTAdviser: "Anything that makes it easier to engage with advice and guidance will help pension savers make more informed decisions.

"During its inquiry, the committee has heard how engagement with people might be improved, including by the use of technology, to make sure they have the support they need when they access their pensions."

Over the past 12 months, the WPC inquiry has been looking into people's pension options six years on since the introduction of pension freedoms. 

The third and final part of its inquiry has been focusing on saving for later life and what more needs to be done to help people plan and save for retirement.

The inquiry has been investigating if households have adequate savings for retirement and if there are measures the government should consider to reduce the gender pension gap and to support self-employed and gig economy workers save for retirement.

Timms added: "We look forward to publishing our conclusions, including recommendations to the government on how to ensure people have the information they need to make good choices for their retirement."

As reported by FTAdviser one of the government's proposals to get more people engaged and interested in their pension was to create a "pension statements season". 

Despite several industry commentators claiming this could be naive and a waste of time and resources, given the planned launch of the long-awaited dashboard in 2023, pensions minister Guy Opperman stuck by it, telling the WPC on November 8 that it would give savers a better understanding of their savings.