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Retirement adequacy: an open goal

This paper builds on our 2016 paper on communications methods for retirement saving. It explores how these communication methods could be successfully used by employers, pension providers, and Government to ensure savers adequately engage with their retirement options, drawing on examples and case studies from the UK and overseas.

What you will get from this policy briefing

By drawing from a range of examples both in the financial services sector and abroad, this paper provides:

  • An overview of current pensions policy initiatives
  • An assessment of different communication methods that have successfully encouraged positive behaviours throughout the savings process from accumulation to decumulation
  • Actions stakeholders can implement to help savers understand and increase their engagement with their retirement savings

Download the policy briefing


With increasing longevity, the rise of Defined Contribution pensions, and the introduction of Pensions and Freedoms, individuals are increasingly bearing more risk and responsibility for ensuring they have adequately saved for retirement. This shift coupled with difficult terminology, complex concepts, and an annual deluge of disclosure information can leave savers feeling overwhelmed, confused, and, as a consequence, reluctant to engage with their savings.  

In this pensions landscape, the way employers, pensions providers, and Government communicate retirement savings will play a vital role in ensuring individuals’ are adequately and sustainably saving.  More importantly, with the upcoming launch of the Single Financial Governance Body (SFGB) and pensions dashboard, the Government has an opportunity to incorporate these methods to ensure these initiatives are as successful as possible.


Our analysis suggests that successful communication should:

  • be based on tangible goals for retirement
  • allow savers to monitor their progress towards these goals
  • be segmented and targeted
  • build financial capability
  • promote tools to engage savers with their retirement savings

These methods provide consumers a targeted, practical and accessible approach to retirement savings throughout the savings process. Although each stakeholder will tailor their communications to suit their specific customers’ needs, these methods provide adaptable tools, based on consumer interests and behaviours that have impact in encouraging individuals to become proactive in managing their retirement savings.

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Events calendar

  • Autumn Lecture 2020: Professor Elroy Dimson

    Online webinar
    14 October 2020

    Spaces available

    Many individuals and institutions have a long-term focus, and invest funds for the benefit of future generations. Their strategy should reflect their long horizon. University endowments are one of the oldest classes of institutional investor, and I will present the first study of the management of these endowments over the very long term.

  • GIRO Conference 2020 Webinar Series

    Available to watch globally in November.
    02-13 November 2020
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    This year's GIRO has been re-designed as a virtual conference to offer members and non-members the opportunity to get up to date content from leading experts in the general insurance field via online webinars. All sessions will be recorded and made available to purchase and re-watch post-event on the IFoA's GI Online Learning Resource area

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    This year's Life Conference has been re-designed as a virtual conference to offer members and non-members the opportunity to get up to date content from leading experts in the life insurance field via online webinars. All sessions will be recorded and made available to purchase and re-watch post-event on the IFoA's website.

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