By Ilonka Oudenampsen
A majority of 71 per cent of active members in the Netherlands are not receptive to pension communication, a study by research company TNS NIPO for the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs has found.
While among actives only 29 per cent is receptive to pension information, 63 per cent of pensioners said they are willing to receive pension communication.
The study found that the four leading factors to this mindset are: involvement with pensions; understanding the urgency of a good pension; people’s own skills to deal with the information; and the assessment of the pension information.
A positive image of one’s own pension fund indirectly affects member engagement, but it does not directly influence members’ receptiveness to pensions information.
The research recommended that pension providers need to build up a good relationship of trust with their members, that media need to give more attention to the subject and that differences between pension arrangements need to be highlighted.
One of the main recommendations is to make pension information more easily understandable, as 43 per cent of respondents indicated they find it hard to understand the information, especially among young people (48 per cent).
Members are mainly interested in the size of their retirement income and whether this is sufficient for a comfortable retirement, the research found. They would like specific information about the total retirement income (including state pension), monthly net amounts, the amount that will actually be paid out to them, and the amount to be reached before pension age.
Members would also appreciate information on whether their retirement income is sufficient. Members, especially youngsters, find it hard to test this themselves, and the calculation module to determine the desired pension poses problems for young people in particular.
The majority of members also indicated they would like to be able to compare their own pension build up to the average build up for their own age and income category.
The study was commissioned by the ministry as it would like to see an improvement in pension communication to ensure members and pensioners get a better understanding of the value of their pension and the risks they are exposed to. TNS NIPO questioned 1,121 active members and 3030 pensioners.