E.On uses games to drive up pensions membership


For energy firm E.On, the use of gamification was about getting as many employees as possible engaged in the auto-enrolment process after it decided to auto-enrol all employees, not just the statutory minimum.

The organisation utilised two stages of gamification at two different times of the process as its plan was to use game-like techniques to engage employees and get them to join the pension scheme voluntarily before its staging date in March 2013. Its gamification techniques were designed and provided by Benefex.

E.On firstly distributed scratch cards modelled on the National Lottery to non-members of its group personal pension scheme a year before its staging date, which coincided with the annual opportunity to join the scheme. The scratch panels gave examples of forecast pension pots for different contribution rates.

Ant Donaldson, reward and benefits manager at E.On, says: “There were some fairly eye-catching figures in there, although it was not a competition it introduced this theme we wanted to get across to staff about not gambling with retirement.

“It got a lot of attention and as a result 750 employees joined the pension scheme.”

This was followed by a ’Who wants to be a millionaire’ style game to coincide the government launching its auto-enrolment campaign.

The organisation sent out a series of emails and postcards to non-members with bite-size information and key facts about the pension scheme, and was followed up by a light-hearted interactive video quiz on the organisation’s intranet, called ‘Who wants to be comfortably retired’.

“This is where gamification really came in,” says Donaldson. “The quiz questions were based on the pension scheme facts we had sent out and we wanted to see that employees had really understood and absorbed our communication messages.”

There were three cash prizes for employees who got all questions right, with names picked out of a hat, with first placed receiving £1,000, second £500 and third £250 in their Christmas pay.

The organisation allowed another opportunity for employees to join the scheme and as a result of using gamification a further 1,000 employees joined. Once the organisation auto-enrolled only 8% of its 11,000 employees opted out.

Donaldson says: “Gamification was just one element, it helped create a buzz for the organisation, it helps make pensions less boring.

“We got our message across to more employees than we would have done if we did not use gamification. It really did have a positive impact on auto-enrolment.”