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Eloise Henderson
Press office manager
01293 586676
eloisehenderson@bandce.co.uk

Out of hours: 07469 154491  media@bandce.co.uk 


The latest piece of joint research from The People’s Pension and State Street Global Advisors, Gender, Age & Pension Savings has found new insights which challenge many of the pre-existing biases surrounding gender, age and communications in the pensions industry.

The first stage of the research found that women used a lot of negative terms (“worried”, “concerned”, “confused”) when speaking about saving for their retirement; were more apprehensive about pensions in general; were slightly more risk averse, and were less confident in their own financial literacy and less financially capable than men.

However, when we then tested Promotion-focused messaging (centered around the goal of achieving gain), and Prevention-focused messaging (centered around the basis of avoiding fears), there was no difference in the way men or women reacted to messages about pensions – they both respond better to Promotion-focused messaging. So how people say they feel about risk does not necessarily match the language they respond to.

What the report did find is that people were more likely to respond to both Promotion-focused and Prevention-focused messaging as they got older. And non-savers reacted negatively to Prevention-focused messaging – “Operation Fear” doesn’t work with this group.

Findings

The report found that that women are more risk averse, and therefore are more likely to respond to Prevention-focused messaging. In addition, it was found  found that women:

  • used a lot of negative terms (“worried”, “concerned”, “confused”) when speaking about saving for their retirement;
  • were more apprehensive about pensions in general; and were slightly more risk averse 
  • less confident in their own financial literacy and less financially capable than men.

However, there was no difference in the way men or women reacted to messages about pensions – they both respond better to Promotion-focused messaging. 

What the report did find is that people were more likely to respond to both Promotion-focused (built on achieving a gain) and Prevention-focused (built on achieving a loss) messaging as they got older. And non-savers reacted negatively to Prevention-focused messaging. 

Commenting on the report, Darren Philp, Director of policy at The People’s Pension, said:

For far too long the pensions industry has focused on negative language when communicating. But the outcome of this research is clear: everyone prefers positive,
Promotion-focused messaging. Project fear doesn’t work when it comes to pensions!

So the pensions industry (and dare I say it, the media) has to put aside its negative messaging and promote the benefits of saving. Only by doing this will we give people the best possible chance of achieving their aims for their retirement.

Learn more

Download the full ‘Gender, Age & Pension Savings’ research report (.pdf)

Notes to editors:

The People’s Pension is the largest private sector master trust (multi-employer pension scheme) in the UK, with 3 million members and over 65,000 employers signed up. It is run by B&CE, a not-for-profit company. Follow @peoplespension.

The People’s Pension is the largest private sector master trust (multi-employer pension scheme) in the UK, with 3 million members and over 65,000 employers signed up. Run by B&CE, a not for profit company, it offers a simple and low cost automatic enrolment workplace pension solution for employers of any size from any sector. We tweet as @peoplespension.