Fortnightly financial five minutes #8 Sarah Cordey
Nigel Yeates, Communications & Stakeholder Business Partner, speaks to Sarah Cordey, Campaigns Manager for Pensions Engagement Season, about encouraging consumers to find the time to pay their pension some attention.
Can you tell us about the idea behind #PensionAttention?
There’ve been lots of good efforts in the past to educate people about their pension savings and give them access to clear and helpful information. Sadly, we know a lot of people still don’t get around to doing the basics and too many people feel intimidated by the prospect of sorting out their long-term savings.
With Pension Attention we wanted to do something bold and unexpected that was hard for people to ignore, and it was also a chance to show that pensions are relevant to everyone. That’s why it was important to us that we had a campaign ambassador people were unlikely to associate with financial matters – enter, Big Zuu!
It’s a unique campaign because of the way it’s brought together so much of the industry behind a single logo. While it’s been coordinated by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA), the funding has come from thirteen corporate sponsors: Aegon, Aviva, Cushon, Fidelity, Legal & General, Pru (part of M&G), Nest, Now: Pensions, The People’s Pension, Standard Life (part of the Phoenix Group), Royal London, Scottish Widows and Smart Pension.
What’s the role that Pension Awareness Week and National Pension Tracing Day have played?
These are two of the pension initiatives that have been gaining traction in recent years, and both of them have a helpful, practical focus on things people can do. We were pleased to work with them under the Pension Attention umbrella this year, to help raise their profile and to give people a range of things they could do to pay their pension some attention, depending on their personal situation. Both of their websites offer year-round support and information – at nationalpensiontracingday.co.uk and pensionawarenessday.com.
If you had to focus on one piece of guidance for consumers amongst all this important work, what would it be?
That finding some time to sort through your paperwork or log on to an online pension account is a valuable contribution to your financial future. Money pressures are acute for many people at the moment, and this is not about urging people to save more.
Tracking down pension pots you’ve forgotten, updating your address when you moved house and checking in to see how your savings are doing are all important parts of looking after your money so that it’s there for you when you retire.
From an FSCS perspective, we would also encourage everyone to check their pensions are protected via our protection checker. Now, the Pension Attention campaign is only running for a few more weeks – what then?
Although the main activity has been focused on October and November, this is hopefully just the start of switching everyone on to how easy it can be to keep track of your workplace pensions. All the website info will be there for months to come so people haven’t missed the chance to pay their pension some attention, then Pension Attention will return next autumn.
Now, on a more personal note, if £10,000 landed in your lap tomorrow, what would you do with it?
Some of it would go on some extra treats for Christmas but I’d be tempted to use a chunk to make an additional mortgage payment, given the recent increases in mortgage rates. And of course, I’d be contractually obliged to add some to my pension as well, where it can grow via the magic of compound interest!
Thanks very much Sarah for that information and we look forward to hearing more about Pension Attention over the coming months and years.
For more information on what FSCS protects around pensions, see our Pensions - what we cover page.
For a great introduction to pensions and why it’s so important we all make sure our pensions are protected, please listen to episode 3 of the FSCS podcast.
The content of any discussions shouldn't be taken as an indication of future FSCS policy positions. The views expressed by guests are their own and don't reflect the views of FSCS.
We would also love everyone to dedicate a regular extra five minutes to check their financial products and services are FSCS protected.