If you were put in a room with a button that said ‘do not press’, would you do as you were told or would you press it, just to see what would happen?
Somehow being told not to do something makes whatever it is seem even more appealing. You just have to be prepared for the consequences.
When it comes to creating great communications, being direct is often the clearest way to get your point across. Whilst reverse psychology definitely works in some cases, it can also backfire when those ‘non rule breakers’ follow the instructions exactly or are put off by the negative message. The element of trust is also a key factor because you need to have a clear and honest relationship with whoever is reading the content. This doesn’t mean that communications need to always be safe. Like pressing a button, sometimes you have to take risks and make some noise.
For pension communications this is more of a challenge. With such a relatively complex subject matter, employers can be fearful of being innovative, when engaging with their employees. In turn, this means that as a subject, pensions can often get ignored. Pensions isn’t an area that should ever be pushed to one side, engagement needs to continue even when there is no significant news to report.
For example, some say that - compared to some years - the Government made few changes to pensions in 2017. For many this provided a welcome respite – no alarm bells ringing! The Spring Budget announced a reduction in the annual allowance for money purchase pension benefits. This is the limit on the amount of tax relief on pension contributions. Although there was the rumour of a number of changes to come out of the Autumn Budget, pensions were left pretty much untouched.
In truth, the pensions world is constantly changing and always needs to be present in the minds of both employees and employers. With the pension freedom opportunities, future generations have the option to be much more flexible when it comes to their retirement. Employers need to be equally adaptable and innovative with both the presentation and style of their communications. If employers aren’t conscious of this they run the risk of reacting too late.
With pensions, time is definitely of the essence and there’s now more reason than ever for employers to engage with their employees about their pension. The new year is an excellent time to make a start.
Sometimes the only way to make something happen is to go ahead and press that button. So rewrite the rules and make some noise in 2018 - even if you’re told not to!