Gallagher has released a new newsletter calling on the pension industry to âfundamentally rethink member engagementâ in the digital age.
âFor too long, communication has been a ‘good to have’ in the pension sector; It’s time to change. Making sure you just ticked the communication box is no longer enough and it is unlikely to meet the needs of employers, trustees, members or The Pensions Regulator, âcommented Roger Hattam, Managing Director communication practices of Gallagher employees. “It also wastes valuable time, money and resources in the process.”
In the newsletter, Gallagher identifies five key trends that reflect the direction the pension industry is heading and how trustees need to respond to stay relevant.
The five trends are:
- Communication is an integral part of the legal obligations of Trustees: Trustees must demonstrate the value they bring to members in order to meet the 21st century guardianship of The Pensions Regulator. To do this, Gallagher advised directors to “think strategically, setting measurable communication and engagement goals before considering the multiple channels that can best deliver this throughout a member’s journey.”
- Pensions can no longer be viewed in a vacuum: Preparing for retirement now involves much more than simple retreats, Gallagher said. A “retirement package” can now include other investments and phased retirement plans, and those just starting retirement will have “very different ideas about money and communications,” the company noted.
- Master trusts are forcing trustees to redefine member engagement: the shift to master trusts is accelerating and organizations can be encouraged to choose vendor âone size fits allâ communications. Gallagher warned that while this approach may reduce costs, the loss of control over members’ messaging could be “too much of a step” for the most expensive employee benefit.
- Data is critical: Trustees rarely measure the impact of communications on pension plans and member engagement levels, although they are more than comfortable with data analysis, metrics and reporting on different aspects of plan governance – this is something that Gallagher says needs to change, communicating that impact proves a return on investment.
- The world is digital and pensions must catch up: according to Gallagher, “the world beyond pensions is digital”. People now want to be able to interact with their pension and source – on demand and at their fingertips. The industry can no longer afford to stick with analog, which does not meet the demands of the 21st century, Gallagher added.
âGoing digital makes sense on many levels and we expect that in the not-too-distant future, admins will be as obsessed with member engagement levels as they are now with risk and returns. on investment, which means they are truly in the 21st century. trustees, âconcluded Hattam.