…and what NOT to tell them!
Effective communication is key to most elements of business success and when it comes to Pensions Auto Enrolment, getting your employee communication right is paramount.
Because it is new, there is an important communication process to be carried out, both at a national, informational level and at a local, employer level. The government has already done their bit by taking out prime time TV ads that featured well-known personalities stating that they’re “in” and looking happy. This message helped put Auto Enrolment on peoples’ agendas and reinforced the fact that staying opted “in” is a good choice for your workforce. This government communication has laid the path for your communication role as an employer.
At a local level, it’s important that you reinforce this message and help your employees better understand why Automatic Enrolment is a good thing for their future financial well-being. This type of communication needn’t cost you a fortune nor need it take hours to carry out. Short and simple messages that outline the key points in simple, easy to understand language are usually best and most effective.
In fact, the most important thing is to let your workers know that it means that they will get their own pension contributions topped up from you as their employer if they stay opted in. This message will act as a great incentive not to opt out.
Using different methods to communicate your message is a good idea because not everyone responds to certain types of communication in the same way. Because of this, it’s worth trying everything from passing on information verbally at staff meetings to using posters, flyers, letters, emails and text messages to help your employees better understand the benefits of Auto Enrolment and to encourage them to buy into the concept.
Here are the key things that you should think about communicating:
- The importance of funding for retirement. Most people are aware of this, but the young in particular can often think that they have time on their hands. As an employer, it’s a good idea to remind people that the younger they start preparing for their retirement, the better chance they have of building up a good fund.
- The benefits of opting in to obtain employer and government contributions. Perhaps by giving an example, you could demonstrate how much extra contribution a member gains by staying opted in. Their contribution, plus your employer contribution as well as the government top up adds up to a whole lot more than the real cost to the employee.
- How the scheme will work and how much it will cost them. Showing that it’s easy to make contributions and that there is little or no administrative burden on them will reassure your employees and further encourage them to participate.
- Where they can find out more. Making sure that workers have a point of contact available to them when they want to discuss auto enrolment, as well as making sure that person speaks their language will help no end in making the transition easier.
In addition to promoting the benefits of automatic enrolment, as an employer, you are required by law to write to every member of staff to tell them about automatic enrolment, how it affects them and their rights. You also need to tell them about the pension scheme you’ve selected.
And of course, what you must not ever do is encourage them to opt out! Otherwise, The Pensions Regulator has the power to levy penalties.
If you’d like help with your auto enrolment communication give us a call on 0800 018 0590? We speak your language and can help you understand what needs to be said to your workforce.