Pensioner communication needs radical overhaul

04 June 2014

Research highlights the need to improve pensioner communication

Research among 40 key annuity providers and pensions’ experts by Equiniti, one of the UK’s largest pension administrators, highlights the need to improve pensioner communication.  63% of respondents believe that pre-retirement information needs improvement and should be an urgent priority for the next six months. A further 26% believe it needs improving within the year.

In a significant change for many schemes, current practice providers believe that retirees need to be given over six months’ notice of retirement options. 43% believed that this was an urgent priority within the next six months, 36% believed it should be done within the year and just 13% believe no action was required.

Free access to retirement advice is also seen as a priority with 28% of respondents believing it should be implemented within the next 6 months, 23% within a year, 26% over a year and 23% believing free access to retirement advice does not need to be addressed.

With specific reference to the Government's plans for the provision of face-to-face guidance, there was an overwhelming view, by 69% of experts, that there were not enough advisers capable of providing this advice accurately. Only 13% felt that there was sufficient resource available. 76% believed that telephone advice would be more appropriate for many people.

There were also very mixed views on how any face to face funding would be paid for, with 30% of respondents believing that providers or trustees will have to pay. 13% thought that the Government would need to contribute up to £50 per pensioner, 21% felt that it would need to be £50-150.  Overwhelmingly, 37% of respondents thought that the Government would need to contribute over £150.

On a positive note, almost all of the experts (90%) believe that going forward we can expect more individuals to engage more consciously in making retirement decisions given the breadth of choices available.

Suzie Rudzitis, Managing Director, Pension Services Division, Equiniti “Equiniti provides both pensions administration and annuity administration services and hence are involved in the full lifecycle of retirement. The survey of experts reinforces that customer value starts a long time before an individual reaches their retirement age.”