Research highlights employers need to adapt pensions comms for multi-generational workers

Jar of coins with "Retirement" label

To better engage multi-generational workers with workplace savings and pensions, employers need to understand the different attitudes and mindsets towards finance and savings of different age groups, according to a new report, ‘Managing the Gap, Achieving success with intergenerational teams’, from workplace savings company, Punter Southall Aspire.

The report is based on research into pensions communications undertaken by the company last year entitled, ‘It’s Time to Change’ and highlights key differences in attitudes towards savings from the under 45 year old – the ‘Digital workers’ and over 45s – the ‘Analog workers’. The company says pensions communications need to be tailored to resonate with each group.

The research highlighted all employees are anxious about their financial future and are not actively managing it.  48% of Analogs said their biggest fear is not having enough money in retirement but 64% of Digitals don’t even know if they are saving enough for retirement. The biggest driver to save for both groups is to have security in retirement and 72% want their employer to proactively educate them about the future – building a strong case for financial education.

However, there are key differences between the generations in many areas.

When it comes to financial decision making, Digital workers are more likely to be indecisive about financial issues than Analog workers, who are more likely to describe themselves as decisive.

59% of Digitals are likely to have credit card debt or a loan other than their mortgage compared to 42% of employees over 45 and younger employees are also less likely to focus on paying off debt (49% compared to 59%).

Nearly three quarters of Digitals want to improve their lifestyle, whereas Analogs are more likely to be focused on maintaining their existing lifestyle rather than improving it.

11% of Digitals think saving is a waste of time; whilst only 4% of Analogs agree. When it comes to spending, 42% of Digitals spend on ‘nice to haves,’ such as the latest trainers or mobile phones, compared to just 23% of Analog workers.

Digitals and Analogs also respond to communications about pensions differently. 39% of Digitals will respond to pensions communications if it makes them feel guilty; compared to 26% of Analogs. Equally, 45% of Digitals will respond if the communications make them feel scared, as opposed to just 32% of Analogs.

60% of Digitals also think communications should be full of colour to attract their attention; whilst 65% of Analogs think colour doesn’t matter. Digitals also they want communications to feature words and scenarios, but Analogs only want words and numbers.

Steve Butler, CEO, Punter Southall Aspire said, “This insight highlights employers need to carefully consider the age and life stage of employees when creating a comms campaign. Digitals have far higher expectations in terms of the kind of pension communications from their employer. They want digital reminders and to be kept up to date on their pension savings progress more than their Analog colleagues, who may be happy with their once a year pension statement.

“Employers also need to tailor communications and support. Digitals have less ability to save and more likely to have debts, so financial education around debt management or budgeting are far more likely to get their interest.

“Analogs on the other hand who are able to save, may want advice on ways to increase their pension contributions before retirement. A one to one meeting with a pension adviser could be the best solution for them. As workforces are increasingly age diverse, employers more than ever before must ensure communication works for multi-generational workers,” he concluded.

Punter Southall Aspire can help employers optimise their pension communications for multi-generational workers. For more information visit: www.psaspire.com

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