Provider communications and pensions dashboard are conflicting

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Provider communications and pensions dashboard are conflicting
Charlotte Cartwright, partner at Eversheds Sutherland

There is a lot of change happening at the moment in the world of pensions but some of it could be conflicting, according to Charlotte Cartwright, partner at Eversheds Sutherland.

Speaking to FTAdviser, Cartwright explained that she is currently working with clients to try and increase member engagement and interest around pensions, but argued there is more to be done.

“There are two different regimes that are conflicting a little bit at the moment,” she said. 

“We're finding lots of providers and schemes are doing a huge amount. They are trying to simplify member communications, trying to make them accessible to a broad audience and doing a lot of work on their websites.

“But then on the other hand, you've got pension dashboards coming in trying to find that sort of one size fits all.”

Cartwright said looking at statistics from overseas, her concern for some of her clients is that there could be great engagement from dashboards when they get up and running, but actually, they can divert people away from the more detailed information and help from the websites themselves. 

“There's almost so many initiatives at the moment going on, in some ways, there needs to be a bit of talking between them to really make the most of what's out there at the moment,” she said.

“The first step is that schemes actually take up the challenge and take this fantastic opportunity they've got with dashboards coming online.”

She explained that it will increase engagement with the broader membership that were not engaged before, and schemes need to use this as an opportunity to communicate to get them involved in their schemes. 

However, she said in order to bridge the gap between the two, it will be about how they position themselves that is going to be “absolutely key”.

“They will have their place, but it's making sure that the end user understands that dashboards are amazing, but they are that snap shot value that ultimately won't bear any correlation to the amount the person actually gets.

“It’s the detail on the website that lots of schemes have got that they can go to for more detailed information.”

Meanwhile, Emma King, a partner at Eversheds Sutherland, said there is a huge amount of jargon associated with communications which needs to change. 

She explained that it was important to strike that balance, between having the information there, but not overloading savers. 

“This is the onion approach where there are layers,” she said.