DSP to undertake three-phase comms strategy for AE

Ireland’s Department of Social Protection (DSP) is undertaking a three-phase communications strategy to launch the auto-enrolment (AE) retirement savings system in the country.

Speaking at the Irish Association of Pension Funds (IAPF) Summer Conference in Dublin, yesterday, DSP assistant secretary general, Tim Duggan, spoke broadly on the rollout of the system. The authority to be set up by the government will be known as the National Automatic Enrolment Retirement Savings Authority (NAERSA) but he said the scheme will be known by a different name.

“I won’t expect people to be going around talking about their NAERSA account… I do think a working name for the scheme is going to emerge over the next while and we’re doing some branding testing at the moment.

“We’ve had a huge amount of work in developing a communications campaign around all this and we have a three-phase strategy, which you will see emerging over the coming weeks and months. Part of that is a branding campaign around the name of the scheme and what people will know it as,” he said.

The DSP is currently in the process of procuring a service provider to take on the administrative element of the system and it will also procure around four investment managers later, with the hope of concluding all procurements by the summer. Duggan is also hopeful that the legislation for the system will be fully passed by the summer so that NAERSA can be created.

“Theoretically we can staff [NAERSA] on an administrative basis within the department. We can hire people on the department’s payroll. We may do a little of that but if the legislation can be concluded and enacted in the summer period then the necessity for doing that diminishes significantly. We’re not hugely concerned about that. As the team, at the moment, within the department is driving everything. It’s doing all of the things that the authority staff would do anyway.

“It’s really when this gets up and going that you need the authority in place; the authority can’t formally exist until the legislation has been enacted. What we expect is the legislation to be enacted in the summer and between now and then we will start the process of trying to recruit some of the key personnel. We hope that we can formally establish the authority with some personnel attached to it, either through recruitment or secondment.”

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