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12 September, 2016   |   By Andrew Pennie, Head of Pathways, Intelligent Pensions   |   Blog

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Pension Awareness Day (or week!) here we come..

Today marks the start of pension awareness week. Starting in Edinburgh, a bright blue double decker bus will tour the UK, staffed with a bunch of advisers and pension enthusiasts, to spread the word about all things pension and retirement.

The pension awareness campaign is relatively simple; people aren’t saving enough but need to take responsibility for their future. To do that, people need a better understanding of what they have and what they need to do to achieve their saving goals.

The campaign is the brainchild of the passionate pension team at PensionGeeks and I’m delighted to be joining them on the bus for a few days. I really have no idea what to expect but it will be great to engage with real people and the real issues and concerns that they have.

Awareness and engagement are undoubtedly key to resolving many of the problems faced when it comes to pensions. Auto-enrolment and pension freedoms have helped to drive increased awareness but have they delivered better engagement and understanding? I suspect not enough but would be delighted to be proven wrong!

As well as answering specific visitor questions on the pension awareness bus, I am interested to discover what people’s understanding of their pension and retirement plans actually are. Are they saving enough? Do they know how much they will need? Are they aware of the risks in retirement? How do they manage their pension(s)? What are they trying to achieve? How do they plan to spend their pension?

The pension awareness campaign is a fantastic initiative and I’m confident a number of the visitors to the big blue bus will find words of wisdom and increased understanding which enables them to take action and improve their chances of a better retirement. However, the challenge will always be about how to take the messages and campaign to the much wider UK population? That itself will require better awareness, engagement and understanding at a pension industry level. To that end, I really hope everyone involved in pensions; trustees, pension managers, providers, journalists and advisers all get behind the existing campaign and do something, however small, that will directly improve pension awareness and compliment the national campaign.

More from my experience on the bus later in the week and in the meantime, what have you done today to improve someone’s pension awareness and understanding?

andrewpennie@ipifa.com