New research shows Pension Wise guidance appointments can be increased threefold with more effective nudges from providers.
The study conducted by the government’s Behavioural Insights Team on behalf of the Money and Pensions Service tested two alternative prompts to get customers to use Pension Wise.
The interventions were handled by three providers including Aviva, Hargreaves Lansdown and Legal & General Investment Management.
When savers made a call to their provider call handlers used a pre-defined script to nudge them to make a Pension Wise appointment.
One group was offered to have the call handler book the Pension Wise appointment for them.
The other group was asked if they would like to be transferred to the Pension Wise booking team who could explain the offer and make an appointment.
The trial found around 11 per cent of customers subsequently attended an appointment within the next six weeks, compared with less than 3 per cent of customers in the control group.
This excluded those who said they had taken guidance or advice in the past 12 months.
The trial was conducted between October 2019 and February 2020.
Qualitative research conducted as part of the trial found people were more likely to take up the guidance on offer when they were still exploring their choices rather than when they were requesting a specific option for accessing their money.
Maps says these results will help inform the Department for Work and Pensions and the FCA when it comes to future regulations and rules.
Minister for pensions and financial inclusion Guy Opperman says: “We are committed to ensuring that people preparing for retirement have access to the necessary support and information to make informed choices about their financial futures.
“The encouraging results from these trials will help inform our work to ensure savers are aware of the free, impartial pensions guidance available from the Money and Pensions Service.”
Money and Pensions Service head of pension and pension policy Carolyn Jones adds: “Increasing take up of the Pension Wise service at this decisive moment in people’s financial lives is clearly a good outcome but it is only a starting point. More work should be done to explore the practicalities of making these trial approaches the standard – and then we need to build on them.
“There remains a large proportion of people accessing their retirement savings without taking guidance or advice. We need to develop a greater understanding of who these people are, and whether they face significant detriment as a result, if we are to identify the best way to support everyone’s financial wellbeing as they head into later life.”