Pensions - Articles - Pensions industry must not think older people wont go online

Trafalgar House, the pensions administration specialist, has today urged schemes to reconsider the benefits of online solutions, following their survey of over 2,000 members of the general public about their attitudes to going digital.

 Daniel Taylor, Director at Trafalgar House, said: “It’s no secret that the pensions industry has engagement and efficiency problems. In other sectors, this has been addressed, at least in part, by pushing online and self-service options. However, investment decisions for the pensions industry are being hampered by incorrect assumptions about member enthusiasm for adopting these technologies.

 According to our latest research, we found that 76% of members are happy to go paperless and, contrary to perception, 65% of over 55’s are also willing to switch to online communications. Our research clearly shows that the widely held assumption that older age groups won’t embrace digital is seriously flawed. Findings such as ours prove that with the right guidance, there is an undeniable willingness amongst members to switch to these more flexible and personal digital methods, and it falls to the industry to proactively engage and support this.

 “Perhaps most surprisingly though, we also found that 43% of under 35’s say they don’t know how to access their pension online. It’s easy to assume that young people prefer online to paper and will proactively seek these tools out because they are accustomed to doing so in other areas, such as mobile banking. Our research shows that making this assumption and simply directing younger members to online platforms without proper guidance and encouragement will backfire. More support and interaction with these tools, as well as their wider retirement planning, are clearly needed.”

 Taylor added: “These results highlight the need to engage directly with members about their communication preferences, and to not use age alone as a tool for segmenting communication strategies. Schemes should embrace the move towards online but shouldn’t forget the personal touch of guiding members into making the most of them.”

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