4 ways financial planners can improve scheme member communication

By AdviceBridge

Ensuring employees understand their retirement options is an important way of improving financial wellbeing – something that has been shown to boost productivity, morale, and retention.

Yet research by the Confederation of British Industry and Aegon shows two in five employers believe their staff are not engaged with their pensions. The least engaged are younger people and those on the lowest salaries, while the most engaged are older people who have worked for their employer for many years.

The report found that businesses believe using a mix of communication methods is the most effective way of improving employee engagement with pensions.

While much of the rhetoric focuses on what employers can do to boost scheme member communication, financial advisers are a vital part of the pension engagement puzzle.

Read on to discover four ways financial planners can improve scheme member communication.

1. Financial planners provide tailored communication

Although many employers provide general pension scheme information, including booklets and annual reports, few offer communications that are tailored to the employee’s needs and circumstances.

As part of its five-point plan to improve consumer engagement, the Association of British Insurers recommends using tailored communications. It gives the following examples:

  • A customer in their 20s may receive regular communication that commends them for joining their pension scheme and explains the benefits of tax relief or the importance of employer contributions in growing their overall pension pot.
  • A customer in their 30s or 40s may receive regular communication that encourages them to maintain their contributions (and the benefits of doing so) despite competing financial pressures.
  • A customer aged 55 and over may receive regular communication that urges them to take guidance and consider their retirement options.

Financial planners can take things a step further by adapting communications to the member’s unique circumstances and goals. They can provide a ‘nudge’ if the employee’s goal is going off track, if they experience certain lifestyle changes, or are able to set aside more money for the future. They can also explain the benefits of a certain course of action and give advice on tax.

2. Financial planners can offer a mid-life MOT

A mid-life MOT offers a great route into communicating with members at a time when they’re starting to think seriously about their later life finances. A mid-life review is a useful trigger for encouraging people to take stock of their finances and make work, health, and retirement choices.

The ABI says a mid-life MOT should be provided by an ‘impartial organisation’, making financial planners ideally suited to this role. Financial planners can integrate the MOT into the customer’s retirement journey, providing additional support and expertise where required.

The financial planner can look at the customer’s existing savings and investments, check whether they’re making the most of their allowances, find out their goals and aspirations, and assess whether they’ll have enough money for retirement. This is a much more holistic approach than a simple, standalone financial review.

3. Financial planners can make communication more accessible

The financial services industry is often guilty of sending customers realms of paperwork containing jargon that the average person doesn’t understand. Financial planners can make communication more accessible because of their experience in building close client relationships.

Financial planners understand how to present complex information in an easily digestible manner. They know which subjects the average client struggles to get to grips with, and the wording to use to encourage people to take action over their finances.

When it comes to scheme members, whose age, wealth and experiences may vary widely, financial planners are best placed to ensure communication is accessible, relevant and engaging.

4. Financial planners can demonstrate tangible outcomes

Through tailored and personalised communication, financial planners can improve how employees perceive their benefits by turning a pot of money into tangible outcomes.

Financial planners can deliver the confidence and reassurance which comes from having ‘enough’ or understanding the action employees need to take to build ‘enough’.

How AdviceBridge can help

AdviceBridge has developed a retirement planning tool that helps financial planners deliver personalised financial advice and communications to scheme members in an efficient and cost-effective way.

The app gathers personal and financial information from the client and conducts a thorough risk profiling analysis. It calculates how much money the client is likely to have in retirement and shows ways of investing more efficiently.

It enables financial planners to communicate and engage with employees from all walks of life, no matter where they are on their financial planning journey.

Get in touch

To find out how AdviceBridge can help you improve scheme member communication and engagement, please get in touch. Email hello@advicebridge.com or call us on 020 3925 3850. You can also visit our website at www.advicebridge.com to book a quick demo with our friendly team.