The word pension is like a light switch. The majority of people press the 'off' button when they see it. Why? Because 9 times out of ten it means bad news for them and who needs to read about that over their breakfast tea or coffee? The WASPI www.waspi.co.uk (Women Against State Pension Inequality) has done much to publicise the fact that women were not told of the changes to the State Pension Age (SPA) But there has been little to let men know that their SPA is also changing.
So what can the government do to get people take in the fact that they may not be getting their state pension when they expect to?
1. Use a powerful message. Big fat ad campaigns don't always work if the message is unclear. 'When can I retire? ' is one of the most searched for terms on Google. Use it.
2. Reach people where they actually are. Not everyone reads personal finance pages. People spend most of their time either at work, shopping or undertaking other recreational activities. Target them there
3. Pension Awareness www.pensionawarenessday.com takes place every year on September 15th. The govt should put some welly into making sure it is well supported and tours major regional centres all over the country.
4. Get some big names Mary Berry, Judy Dench, Helen Mirren, Alan Titchmarsh, Richard Branson to endorse and amplify the campaign.
5. Get the message into sporting activities like angling, yoga, tennis, fitness and aerobics? Football, rugby, and cricket would be the icing on the cake. The target audience are active people and sport is one of the most powerful ways of communicating.
Retirement is one of those subjects that people talk about, think about but don't actually do much about. It's too complicated, scary, far away and yet it will happen one day. For years and years the state pension age for women has been 60 and 65 for men and many still those are the golden numbers. But It. no longer is! The government has a duty to tell people The state pension age has changed otherwise they will continue to believe that those ages still apply. They will then wake up to the fact that the reality is very different and they have no contingency plans to cover the gap
The state pension age for women is rising to hit 65 by 2018, in line with men, and then both will rise to hit 66 by 2020. Altmann said a national advertising campaign was needed to ensure as many people as possible know they will not get their state pension at age 65. Altmann said: 'The DWP has spent huge sums advertising the new state pension and for State Pension Top-Up, but not for state pension age changes – even though such a publicity campaign is far more important than using public money to promote state pension top-up, which is unsuitable for many people and will only help tiny numbers of pensioners, most of whom are well-off.’