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Wakeup pack research shows good understanding but more work needed to improve retirement planning engagement

The ABI has today published the results of consumer research into the wake-up packs received by defined contribution pension savers six months before retirement. The packs contain important information on the options for buying an annuity, including the right to shop around using the Open Market Option (OMO).  

71% of participants who read the pack said it gave them a better understanding of their options at retirement, and awareness of the right to shop around increased from 62% to 82% after reading it. However, of those participants who remembered receiving the pack, 58% had just skimmed it or hadn't yet read it at all.  

The research was designed to measure feedback following improvements made to customer communications in 2008. The survey forms part of a wider industry effort to improve customer engagement with pension savings and retirement planning, including new processes to simplify and speed-up the OMO transfer process.  

Maggie Craig, the ABI's Director of Life and Savings, said:  

"It's encouraging that overall, the wake-up packs are considered to be useful and informative. The fact that the packs informed people about both the right to shop around, and the availability of different types of annuity, shows that the industry is getting better at communicating these important messages to consumers.  

"The pensions industry is committed to providing clear and helpful information to customers as they approach retirement, and this research will help us make further improvements. Keeping communications short and simple clearly helps, but the best way to ensure customers get best value from their pension savings is to raise awareness and encourage engagement earlier in their working lives. The ABI is working with members towards this important objective."  

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Last updated 01/07/2016