The effectiveness of decision aids in pension communication and the role of literacy

This project investigates the effectiveness of decision aids in pension communication for participants of a pension scheme. Pension Decision Aids (PDAs) are interactive online tools that through a sequence of questions and information guide participants towards making informed pension decisions. PDAs (1) explicitly state the decision that needs to be considered; (2) provide information about the options, associated benefits, risks, probabilities and uncertainties; (3) help clients to recognize the value-sensitive nature of the decision as well as (4) help to clarify the value they put on the consequences of the decision alternatives; (5) provide a personalized recommendation; (6) provide guidance or coaching in the steps of making and communicating decisions with others; (7) help clients to assess whether they have a correct view of the consequences of their decision. In the medical domain, Decision Aids have been found to lead to better decisions (in that these decisions are consistent with the patient’s values), but also to more knowledge, a more accurate risk assessment, and feeling more confident about one’s choice. In this project, we aim to assess to what extent PDAs can have similar positive effects for decisions about pensions and how the PDAs should be designed to attain such effects.

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Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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