On the 3rd of December 2021 our webinar ‘Find inform and activate’ took place as the final event of the European Retirement Week. Around 70 registered participants followed the event dealing with topics such as the importance of communication on pensions for mobile workers, general aspects of pension communication and our solution for pension communication to (mobile) workers/European citizens: a European Tracking Service called FindyourPension.eu.
After a warm welcome by Ms. A Phillippi, COO Pensioenbeheer at PGGM, the audience gained insight in the problems mobile workers in Europe face. Ms. M. Bulk, Advisor European Affairs at FNV and member of EIOPA’s Occupational Pension Stakeholders Group, explained that in 2019, almost 12 million people, 4,2 % of the total EU labour force of working age moved to work in EU country other than their home countries. More than 50% of those EU movers were Romanian, Polish, Italian, Portuguese or Bulgarian citizens. A large group of EU movers provided cheap, bulk labour and were easily replaced, and easily abused.
Information is a precondition for these mobile workers to ensure decent work and living. According to Ms. Bulk, a European Tracking Service as a central access point to find pensions in different member states, could be an important and adequate means but, a prerequisite to collect individual pension information from different countries via the ETS, would be, that national PTS are connected to it. At this moment, information has to be retrieved per country. An ETS would help this group enormously. Bulk concluded that information and insight on accrual of pension rights, but also on gaps in pension accrual, could truly be an important step in realizing that everyone in old age has the resources that ensure living in dignity.
The second speaker, Ms. G. Conforti of EIOPA, gave an overview of EIOPA’s advice on Pension Tracking Services. As a part of this advice EIOPA did a consumer test on landing pages informing consumers on their pension entitlements. Some of the conclusion from this consumer testing she shared were:
- Pension Tracking Systems can be effective in helping users to make more informed decisions,
- Retirement age and projected income are considered the most essential information,
- Graphical elements play an important role in attracting users.
Ms. Conforti agreed to the statement made by Ms. Bulk that it is a prerequisite to collect individual pension information from different countries via the ETS, that national PTS are connected to it. Therefore, EIOPA had included recommendations regarding connectivity to the ETS in their advice which she presented (please see the report on EIOPA’s Technical Advice on Pension Tracking on this website).
Finally, Prof. Dr. L. Brüggen, Maastricht University, shared insights from recent studies she performed on pension communication. Some key findings from these studies are that consumers have very basic knowledge and language level on pensions. Therefore, the simpler the information is communicated, the better it will be understood. If this first step is done, consumers are encouraged and want to know more about their pension entitlements. Prof. Brüggen recommended to use certain methodologies like permanent evaluation, measuring the impact of communication and even make it a topic which is under the specific responsibility of a member of the pension institutions’ Board. Detailed regulations about content and design may not be the right means.
The first part of the webinar was concluded by a panel discussion between the speakers.
Interested? You can find the video of first part of the webinar here.
After a short break the webinar continued with an update on the ETS project. ETS project Manager Ms. C. Wegner-Wahnschaffe, VBL, summarized the former speakers in why an ETS is needed. She explained that ETS is not only about giving an overview of the pension entitlements across Europe and general as well as personalized information on European Pensions but also about a service for pension data compilation. Based on EIOPA’s recommendation on a progressive roll-out, she sketched the phases of the project and gave an overview of the (accomplished) deliverables of the phase of establishing the pilot the project is in at the moment.
One of these already deliverables is the portal findyourpension.eu. Based on the webinars title ‘Find, Inform and Activate’ the FYP team presented how the portal will support mobile workers in finding their pension entitlements, informing and activating them by showing examples of the current portal and future developments.
Want to know more about the ETS-project? You can watch part 2 of the webinar here.