28 October 2010
The Department of Work and Pensions has published two
reports which have been commissioned to understand communicating
with people regarding their retirement.
The first report, which discusses communicating with people
approaching retirement and the information required, was undertaken
between December 2008 and March 2010.
The key findings of this piece of research were:
- Communication messages about State Pension and retirement need
to be factual and specific to the individual but at the same time
sensitive to the apprehension customers feel as they approach this
major life event.
- To enable customers to plan their long term finances
effectively they need to be fully informed about their total
entitlements to pensions and benefits and how they interact with
- Communications should gradually increase in frequency as the
customer reaches their official State Retirement Age. The steps
that customers need to take and when should be clearly set
Click here to view a copy of the report
The second report, which discusses the attitudes and perceptions
of people over retirement age, was conducted over two phases and
included both qualitative and quantitative methods.
The key findings include:
- Age shapes customers' experiences and attitudes - findings show
that the age of customers affected their outlook on society,
finance and health. The oldest group of customers showed
significant differences in attitude and behaviour to those in
younger age groups.
- Attitudes and perceptions are also correlated to affluence and
health - most participants who are less affluent were mostly
employed throughout their working lives but were still reliant on
state benefits to provide an income in retirement. Those from less
affluent households were more likely to report having a long-term
illness and make regular visits to the doctor.
- Family plays a crucial role in the lives of most of the over
60s - including an important social role in acting as advisors on
health and financial decisions. Family members are the most likely
source of home help amongst those with health difficulties, as well
as influencing access to information and understanding government
- Income and access to services were found to differ by gender -
older women may be more likely to be socially isolated than men
which suggests the tenor of communications to women, and the
services that are offered, may need to be structured
- Take-up and use of new technology is stronger in younger
participants - although there are opportunities available for
conveying messages via modern forms of technology, the more tried
and tested sources remain the most widely used and the most
to view a copy of the report.