You talk we listen, no it’s not an advertising slogan! Employers were telling us of their difficulties in engaging with employees on pensions issues. To boost engagement between employers and their staff, we have launched a mobile app for our reward portal, Compass, which enables employees to view details of their employee benefits at any time on their smartphone.
For example, Compass allows employees to set an appropriate retirement income target which, together with an online questionnaire, identifies their attitude to risk and makes them aware of how much they should be putting into their defined contribution pension arrangement to reach their target. Employees can actually see the estimated probability of reaching their retirement income target on their smartphone, wherever they are, on the train home or in the pub, and if necessary make appropriate changes either to their target, or to their appetite for risk, or amount they are prepared to contribute. They can find out how much more pension they could get on retirement if they increased their savings into their pension arrangement by the equivalent of the cost of a pint of beer a day.
Can you imagine having to be at a particular place at an exact time, and driving there without looking at your watch, the fuel gauge or the speedometer? That’s what many people do with pensions. They want to retire on a given day, often the day they reach 65, and they never once enquire how they are doing against their hoped for income at retirement (that’s assuming they have even thought about an income target). Compass helps employees better understand the choices they are currently making on their retirement income. They might not do anything differently but if they don’t, at least by looking at the instruments on the dashboard during the journey, they will not be surprised when they arrive late for their meeting or run out of fuel before their journey is ended.
Moreover, with ever increasing numbers of people using their smartphones for an ever increasing array of things, making employee benefit information easy to understand and readily available twenty four hours a day makes perfect sense for an employer anxious to engage with its staff. Users also have the option to provide direct feedback to their employer by individually rating benefits which can help organisations (and Buck) drive value in terms of benefit spend. We are still listening!
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