Pension websites… does your scheme have one?
Awareness of pension scheme websites is considerably higher among employees than the self-employed, reports research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) e-Society programme.
In a survey of 1,337 individuals, Dr Tina Harrison and Kathryn Waite have found that less than a quarter of self-employed individuals know that their pension scheme has a website, and around half of these have actually used it.
Findings show that pension scheme members who have used their scheme website are benefiting from an increased understanding of pensions and, in some cases, an enhanced decision-making capacity.
Many large occupational pension schemes now provide scheme members with a website. Around three-quarters of the occupational scheme members surveyed were aware of their pension website and similarly high proportions had used it. Facilities and features range from purely informational sites, such as web-based scheme booklets, to fully functional integrated sites that allow scheme members to switch funds, change contribution levels and update personal details online. Most popular features are the modellers or calculators that allow members to obtain projections of their benefits and to model ‘what if’ scenarios.
Many scheme members value their pension website and are benefiting from its use. The greatest benefit is in information provision and education. The vast majority of all pension website users report increased access to pension information, and half of these say they are better informed about pensions as a result. Similar proportions report experiencing greater confidence in making pension enquiries and decisions as a result of using their pension scheme website.
There is an indication that use of pension websites leads to an increased tendency towards pension saving for some people. More than half of all pension website users surveyed say they are taking more of an interest in their pension as a result of using the website, and around a third say they have saved more towards their retirement.
“The need for better communication and information provision via the web is important within the broader context of the general move from DB (Defined Benefit/Final Salary) to DC (Defined Contribution) pensions,” comments Tina Harrison. “DC pensions transfer the investment risk from the employer to the individual. This means there is a greater need for communication, education and ideally consumer involvement in the progress of an individual’s pension pot. If the individual can become more engaged in the process, through using a pension website, they will have more heightened awareness of financial issues.”
For further information contact:
Antonia Luther-Jones, Communications and Events Manager for the ESRC E-Society Programme on 01904 434561 or email email@example.com
Alexandra Saxon or Annika Howard at ESRC, on 01793 413032/413119 email firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Annika Howard | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
New technique promises tunable laser devices
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...