How to answer employee retirement questions

Employees sit round a table, illustrating employee retirement questions

Workers may expect employers to have the answers to some of their biggest retirement quandaries, but for many business leaders this can be a daunting area to approach. Robert Cochran, senior corporate pension specialist at Scottish Widows, outlines the issues and highlights resources that can help

How much should I be saving for retirement? What happens to my pension when I die? These are just a couple of examples of questions frequently asked by employees in relation to their pensions.

As most people first access a pension through work, it’s natural that many expect their employers to have the answers. But it isn’t always that easy.

Providing information on both the company pension and retirement planning more generally is an excellent way for employers to support financial wellbeing through the workplace.

But we can’t expect every organisation to have a pension expert in the HR team. Moreover, we understand that employers are often cautious when talking about financial planning, for fear of crossing the line between sharing information and providing advice.

This was also recognised by the government in its Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR), and while there is work underway for the regulators to give employers more clarity on what they can and can’t say, we still need the pensions industry to keep finding new and better ways to help employers support their workforce.

At Scottish Widows, one approach we’ve taken is through our Pension Basics videos. Breaking down retirement planning into manageable chunks, we take one question at a time, and answer it in a 30 second video.

The format is informed by behavioural economics, which tells us that tackling all aspects of retirement planning together makes it feel unwieldy and disengages people with their pensions.

The Pension Basics series has been a huge success, with over two million views in total. Now, a series of these videos, answering your employees’ most frequently asked questions is available, regardless of whether or not you’re a Scottish Widows customer, on our Employer Hub.

Click here for pensions resources for employers

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