Simplifying DC
benefit statements to increase engagement

Case studies

We helped Northumbrian Water Group to re-design its DC scheme member benefit statements to increase awareness of the value of matching contributions.

The background

Northumbrian Water Group (NWG) was concerned that members of its DC scheme weren’t taking full advantage of its matching contribution structure. The bundled provider’s annual benefit statements were homogenous and disengaging, as well as being inconsistent with in-house branding used elsewhere within NWG’s wider benefit programme.

As a result, fewer than 50% of the members were taking advantage of a generous level of matching contributions. 

Our solution

We worked with the pension and communications teams to agree a key success criterion, which was to encourage at least another 10% of the membership to opt for full matching contributions. We created NWG-branded statements that reflected the individual saving needs of each member.  By segmenting the messages in each member’s statement to reflect age and likely savings characteristics, we created targeted communications that focused attention on the growth in size of their DC account (rather than concentrating on projected pension). The statements also included an illustration of the cost of increasing contributions on a member’s take home pay, allowing for the tax breaks associated with using salary exchange.

NWG felt that these statements would have more impact because they were simpler for members to understand and used ‘real’ numbers – it was also hoped that the new look statement would act as a stepping stone towards greater overall interest and participation in the DC scheme.

The results

Within one day of issue there was a significant increase in members (c+30%) contacting Payroll to increase their contributions, so Northumbrian Water felt that this bespoke communications campaign met and exceeded objectives.