Communicate, educate, simplify and gamify: engaging young people in pensions
1/10th of 18-24 year olds admit they don't know what a pension is or how it works
53% of 22-29 year olds have no savings
This might not be surprising given today’s environment.
Trust in business is much lower in younger generations; this year’s Edelman trust barometer showed that only 38% of young people trust businesses. So they’re less likely to believe what you tell them.
They’ve also got more immediate financial concerns. A recent article from the BBC highlighted the plight of young renters; 65% of British Postcodes have unaffordable housing for people in their 20s.
And, it’s rare that positive news surrounding pensions makes it into the mainstream media.
So, given their pressing concerns right now, how do you get young people to engage in saving for the future?
This is a generation that were brought up on smartphones and tablets. They don’t want to read pages of technical information, and they won’t. They want it condensed and easily accessed through their phone.
It’s not just generation Z that this applies to either. 40% of adults are on their phones within 5 minutes of waking up (so much for passion!).
All these people are consumers - that doesn’t change at work. You’ve got to compete with Instagram, Netflix, and thousands of marketing messages every day.
So give them something they want to interact with.
Make it fun! Try creating an avatar of their future self that they can see grow and change in line with their savings. Or tap into their brain’s reward pathway by rewarding desirable behaviours. Gamification is proven to increase engagement, and it’s also a great vehicle for educating people.
Given our first statistic, you’ll need to educate your employees. No one wants to be involved in something they don’t understand. Animation is another great way to simplify complex messages. Slight changes to your scheme might be hard to explain verbally, but visualising the message makes it so much easier. Cost of delay tools also do a lot to show how important it is to start saving young.
Having a mobile friendly portal, allowing people to manage their savings on the go, gives people more freedom and makes your service more accessible. Use personalised video statements - if a picture is worth a thousand words, how much for a moving one?
We’ve also got to give people a reason to trust us. That means openly and simply letting people know about changes, as well as why they’re happening, and involving them in decisions wherever possible.
Speak in a language they understand. Pension jargon may be what you’re used to seeing every day at work, but most people don’t work in pensions. To them, it’s a new language, so try to break it down in a way anyone could understand.
Use inspiring language; it’s much easier to save for an exciting life after work than it is to put money away for 'retirement'. Give them something positive to save for, and make it real, so it’s more than just numbers on a screen.
By 2020 over 50% of the world’s workforce will be made up of generations Y and Z. They’re not groups you can ignore. You have to find a way to reach out and connect with them. My advice: communicate, educate, simplify and gamify.