It's a funny old thing with pensions. People pay and forget about them...bit like direct debits. Somehow it isn't real money once you have set it up. But it is the setting up thing that is the problem.
I had lunch with a friend a few weeks ago who was telling me about the latest approach for weaning for her baby. 'Two years ago' she said ' you just shoved as much as you could on the baby's plate and left it to the baby to choose' Result? Picky and difficult eaters. Now the advice is to give your baby just one thing and not overwhelm them with choice. If they don't like it take it away an give them another thing'. Result? Babies who eat when given food.
When I first started working a long time ago, you had no choice. You were automatically enrolled into a 'works' pension scheme. When I left I could either leave the money in the scheme or get a big fat cheque. At the age of 23 guess what I chose?
Gillian Hudson , Head of Pension Campaigns at DWP is responsible for running out the new pension awareness campaign with a new TV ads running from 18/10/17. Will it work? I would love to say yes but remembering myself as a 23 year old all those years ago I was never going to get old and need a pension.
Now the issue is choice? As always with money there are plenty of companies out there who want it including the unscrupulous ones. How does the consumer choose? And will they make the right choice? What happens if it goes wrong and everything is lost? And why should we trust what the government says? After all in 2014 all the goal posts were moved and have been moving every since.
A recent survey by Minerva Lending shows that 55% trust the financial services industry LESS that before the 2008 crisis with 64% believing the government has failed to secure their financial futures. Failure of government to properly inform women of the age change for the state pension has not helped the trust issue with the ensuing WASPI campaign a thorn in the government's side.
If the DWP is going to persuade people to part with their hard earned money they have make sure that people trust what they have to say. And it takes a while to build that trust. I am not convinced that one campaign is going to do that. The most important thing of all is for the government to stay on course and not keep changing everything all the time.
Let's hope for all our sakes the new campaign 'You work. your pension works' works!
Thinking about pensions and saving for the future might feel a bit like giving your hard earned cash to some passing acquaintance who has probably not even made it on to your Instagram follower list Gillian Hudson, head of pension campaigns, Department for Work and Pensions