Checking things off

Opportunity points!

18th July 2017

First appeared on Pension Funds Insider on 14/07/17

So many “to do” lists with so much still to do, it’s not looking like it will all be done by Friday when I go searching for some sunshine on my two-week summer holiday.

Looking at my ‘to do’ list I wonder why some of these things are on there at all. Others seem to have been there for so long I’m sure it’s already sorted or the opportunity is lost. Then there are the ones I just haven’t had the courage to tackle. They are important, very important, but all too easy to do tomorrow and not today. It’s amazing how powerful a holiday deadline can be.

This will probably be my most productive week of the year. The scarcity of time provides enormous motivation and a pragmatic approach to getting things done and to remove from the list the things that will never get done.

So, if it’s like this before holidays, what will it be like in the lead-up to retirement?

Getting your pension sorted, for many members, is one of those things that falls to the bottom of the list. It’s our responsibility, as an industry committed to good member outcomes, to bring this to the fore and help members help themselves. Whilst I am a big supporter of nudge theory, getting the structure of a scheme right – auto-enrolment and auto-escalation in place – is only part of the solution. On every member’s journey, there are specific opportunity points at which the right decision can make a material difference to a member’s retirement outcome. I call these points “POPs” – pension opportunity points.

It is at these points that communication is King. The right message, to the right person, at the right time, to drive the right action. POPs are specific to individuals. They require a deliberate communications strategy and excellent implementation over time to get the member’s attention, develop their understanding and drive their action. Focusing communication around POPs reduces waste on communicating things that don’t matter to members who, quite simply, are not interested.

In some ways, it’s just like my ’to do‘ list, if I had someone to help prioritise the right decisions at the right time, I’d already be on holiday.


Peter Nicholas

Managing Director & CEO

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