Pensions in 2020 – the impact of social networks

English: A protester holding a placard in Tahr...

English: A protester holding a placard in Tahrir Square referring to Facebook and Twitter, acknowledging the role played by social media during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We talk a lot about member engagement but in 2020 – if current trends continue – employees will have taken it out of our hands. Scheme members will be organising their own engagement and this may have surprising results.

If someone has a poor experience with pensions how quickly will that be communicated to colleagues and friends? If a younger worker wants advice about saving where will they go?

Facebook, Mallowstreet, Linked in , IFA life , Total Investor, Money Saving Expert;- provide online places for people to meet, find things out and leave their tuppence worth.

Content is found not delivered. People hate to be educated, they love to learn.

What social media does is democratise information, commoditising Intellectual Property so that it’s not the idea but its distributor who’s most valued.

If you use Facebook to organise most of your schoolwork and all of your social life, social media isn’t something you’re “looking at” it’s the platform you’re standing on.

Here’s one decent tip my son’s given me

Dad- it’s about groups”

Well, I could have guessed that as I set up one – The Pension Play Pen – which now has 2550 members. It’s a 24/7 pensions conference that’s free to join and free to leave!

Everywhere I look, I see new financial groups organising themselves around newspapers, IFAs, consumer organisations and insurers. The people behind these portals are described as Mavens[1]. These are our new leaders.

Martyn Lewis – Rob Gardner, Phil Calvert and Jonathan Stapleton are examples of Mavens and they all run on-line communities. They are pioneers and their sites are the prototypes for what we will see in years to come.

I predict that if you run a leading company, you will look to be your employee’s moneysaving expert. You will gauge which way the wind blows using regular surveys like Pensions Buzz. You may run your own Mallowstreet for your staff at work and you may run a Linked in group for your alumni – (the best way to track your deferreds)!

If a company doesn’t take the lead and offer its employees a financial forum then expect them to go off and find their own. My prediction’s it will be those who set up, foster and moderate these groups who will be able to win the hearts and minds of members in a post AE-world.

The great data sites that hold our DC records will just be financial libraries. The tools – the modellers, the online decision trees and retirement planners will be commodities.

The value will rest with those Mavens who can provide dynamic support at the financial crunch points, when people change jobs, marry, lose loved ones and retire.

We are social animals. We learn from each other, we do not like to be told but when we hear of a good teacher we rush to listen. The support needs to be accessible and adaptable, not static and predictable.

The winners in 2020 will be those that have built or rebuilt trust, that have congregated a loyal audience and can deliver answers in ways that suit a technologically mature population.

[1] Used by Malcolm Gladwell in his book The Tipping Point (Little Brown, 2000) to describe pioneers.

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
This entry was posted in auto-enrolment, Bankers, Change, Henry Tapper blog, pension playpen, pensions, social media. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Pensions in 2020 – the impact of social networks

  1. Brian Critchell says:

    Sadly, Henry,2020 is too late for the pensions world to comply. Start doing it now folks for your younger employees, or watch your AE opt out rates climb!

    Pensions technical will become a history lesson on legacy benefits. Perhaps the PMI should be investing in qualifications in social media management.

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