Too much information will result in confusion. Members will either show disengagement or deluge the scheme with queries. Neither is useful for the member or the scheme. So how do we discover the ‘Goldilocks’ solution that delivers just the right amount of information?
Getting the balance right
There needs to be a balanced approach and the question that will arise is, what is balanced? We need to learn from schemes that have already gone through this exercise and consider what has – and hasn’t – worked. Here is where advisers can help, as they have experience over so many other clients.
Business related social media platforms may also help you find some insights that you can apply to your own scheme.
Remain open minded. Don’t forget that what failed somewhere else might be just the right solution for your scheme. So don’t dismiss anything out of hand.
Communicate early and regularly
Start early by communicating with members as soon as possible. It won’t make them any more adept at understanding the complexities of pensions, alas. But by creating an environment that fosters knowledge, will pay dividends in the long run.
Brochure websites with little more than downloadable pdfs of the scheme rules and annual statement won’t cut it.
Focus on what works in mass communication. People are used to reading a newspaper, so start with the headline. Spell out that GMPs won’t affect many and who they might be. Link to a FAQ or explanatory video/graphic.
Explain that it might mean a little more money but indicate how much/little that might be. Tell them it isn’t something to worry about as the scheme has it all in hand.
A little and often
Breaking these complex subjects into simple messages will make it easier for members to understand. It also shows the membership that transparency is important.
If nothing else, they will look at the scheme – whether trustees, pension department, administrator or customer service centre – as someone they can trust.