As employers act to meet the practical, emotional and mental wellbeing needs of their employees during the coronavirus pandemic, the financial wellness of their employees should not be forgotten.
No one in the UK has escaped the impact of the coronavirus pandemic – be it employment, health, or childcare challenges – all of which will have effected wellbeing in some shape or form, financial wellbeing included.
People are being forced to adapt to the situation and it’s led to a rapid increase in the number of people doing things digitally, employers included. Digital engagement and communication has never been more valuable when it comes to employee benefits.
Discovering the digital world of pensions
Digital communication and engagement has long been central to the Aegon proposition and with the pandemic demanding powerful and paperless engagement, this has enabled Aegon to demonstrate the full extent of its digital capabilities for employers and their members.
Webinars, podcasts, webchat functionality, frequently asked questions films specifically designed to support the need for information on impacts of the coronavirus have recently complemented the existing range of digital tools we offer employers and their members such as Aegon’s award winning pension video summaries and the innovative Aegon scheme governance tool, Member Insights.
The animated video pension summaries have transformed the average pension communication for members of Aegon’s workplace pensions and have come into their own during this crisis. They feature real time pension information such as fund values and contributions levels in a 3 minute video summary which provide members with a timely picture of their retirement savings position.
The summary can be accessed online at any time but is also delivered by email ahead of the paper statement that is linked to a member’s renewal date. The film was built and developed using a matrix of data and gamification techniques. It also uses the latest behavioural science insights to shape the design, language, sounds and features to ensure people are fully engaged.
It contains 10 sections that are completely personal to the member and references lifestyle targets rather than setting retirement goals. These include age, value and investment status. There are more than 3 million unique script and scene variations.
Digital pension summaries are just one of many ways in which Aegon is adapting its proposition and communication to meet and exceed customer expectations. And Aegon will continue to develop forms of communication based on employer, employee and adviser feedback.
What can employers do?
The first thing that employers should do is provide the reassurance their members need and support them with the tools and information to make the best decisions for their own circumstances.
Employers should lean on their adviser and Workplace providers to access the wealth of both existing and new dedicated support, including access to telephone guidance at this difficult and confusing time.
While many people might find themselves with financial challenges – like reduced household income or ill health – there are equally many people who are financially benefitting from the current situation – such as saving money on commuting or childcare. No two employees will be in the same boat and an employer will need to do their best to be sensitive to this variation.
This is where the role of scheme governance and accurate scheme data analysis is so vital.
Insight equips employers to provide good communication
Aegon’s “Member Insights” is an automated data analytics solution to help employers and corporate advisers meet their governance responsibilities, to run their scheme effectively and make decisions with confidence.
Using Aegon’s Member Insights digital tool, employers and corporate consultants can see
critical information about their scheme such as fund performance, service standards and member outcomes and detailed scheme data about members’ savings levels, potential retirement income and the levels of engagement scheme members have with their retirement savings. This is all captured in a downloadable report that provides the graphs, data and commentary on the scheme which can be saved and shared to help with decisions in governance and adviser meetings.
It also enables them to put insight into action by launching targeted email campaigns to the entire scheme membership or specific segments of the membership across a range of topics, setting it apart from other solutions on the market.
These insights and targeted communications help steer members in the right direction and improve member outcomes.
Keeping the connection open during a crisis
It’s key that during such a crisis, employers communicate and inform their employees about the services and support available to help them assess their options.
Ensuring that employees know the employee benefits they have access to might help them navigate their finances this difficult time.
And pointing employees in the right direction for the financial guidance and advice they need, could help employers get the best results from their workforce. If money worries are addressed, employers will see better employee focus and productivity from employees.
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