Pension savings which make a change

By Emma Evans on Thursday, 29 October 2020

Encouraging people to engage with their pension is a bit like getting kids to eat their veg; most of us know the value of it but we don’t always fully commit. Recent events have however focused the mind when it comes to pension savings and there is a growing force for good among savers. Which can only be a good thing.

And it is an opportune time. Earlier this year film director Richard Curtis launched the Make My Money Matter campaign to push individuals, companies and the government to make sure their pension savings, the money that is invested in their name, builds a better world. And, this week is Good Money Week which aims to educate people about sustainable and ethical options for banking, pensions, savings and investments.

With all of this in mind we wanted to do our own research into how people feel about their pension savings. We asked people, like you and me, if they care about the values of the companies their pension is invested into and if they want to be told of their pension is invested in fossil fuels. The encouraging answer to these questions was yes. People want to know what their pension is up to when they aren’t looking.

Three in five (57%) workers told us they care about the values of the companies their pension is invested in and care about how they operate. Of those workers, one quarter (26%) believe that the companies they invest in must act in a responsible way and tackle key issues, such as climate change, modern slavery and the gender and diversity gap. And, over half (52%) of workers want their pension provider to proactively tell them if they are investing in fossil fuels.

This desire only grows in the younger generations – something that shouldn’t come as a huge surprise but does tell us important things about future decision makers. Those aged between 18-34 are both more likely to care about the values of the companies their pension is invested in (73%) and want to be notified if they are investing in fossil fuels (64%).

The message is clear. Let’s talk to workers about their pension savings and how the money invested into their pension each month can actually make a difference. Let’s lift the lid and enable greater knowledge by showing people how to check what their pension gets up to starting with education.

Online seminars and lively email content are one part of the solution once we have their ear but we need to grab people’s attention first. We need to think about video, animating the experience through games, harnessing the power of influencers and creatively educating, informing and sharing experiences for the better. Only by transforming the way we think, act and communicate will we be able to make a difference and like Richard Curtis says (I never thought I would say this in a blog about pensions) – make our money matter.