According to Amanda Innes, pensions communications manager at Nationwide, the introduction of a pensions dashboard can only be a good thing: “By having all their information under one roof, employees will be able to see at a glance what they’re in line to get, instead of just guessing.”
Nationwide has, in the meantime, taken its own steps to help employees gain a comprehensive understanding of their retirement prospects, reports Innes: “We’ve completely changed the way employees engage with their pension over the last few years by defaulting their additional contributions so they receive the maximum employer contribution, moving to a more flexible default investment fund on Aviva’s My Money platform, and introducing online tools within My Money and Guided Outcomes.”
Guided Outcomes, provided by Hymans Robertson, shows staff how to achieve a desired retirement income. The programme provides an online assessment, illustrating how much money they are likely to need to live on when they stop working, how much they should receive from the organisation’s group personal pension (GPP) based on current contributions, and what amount they might need from the GPP to achieve their target retirement income.
To make these calculations, the system estimates a pre-existing pension amount, accrued up to the date the employee joined the GPP, based on their age and salary. To make the assessment more accurate, employees can change this amount themselves; however, this relies on the individual to retain access to the information.
“With the dashboard in place and all this information to hand, tools like Guided Outcomes will really be able to help our employees navigate themselves to the future they want,” says Innes.
Beyond simply making it easier to calculate projections and provide guidance on ideal contributions, Innes notes that the dashboard will add significantly to employers’ tools for engaging staff with the prospect of saving for retirement.
“We already have around 60% of eligible employees signed up to use Guided Outcomes; when the dashboard is here we can use this as an extra lever to encourage more to sign up,” she explains. “We can also use the dashboard as a reference whenever we engage with employees, not only about pensions but around the wider conversation of financial wellbeing.”