Visual communication of uncertain retirement benefits

In the new pension system, the importance of good choice guidance for participants by pension funds and administrators will increase. One is also faced with the difficult task of informing participants on the possibility that the pension benefits might be higher or lower. The prediction of the amount of the benefits and the margin of uncertainty, are often communicated visually. Such visualizations can be interpreted more easily than their textual version because patterns are immediately visible (Hegarty, 2011). But there are also risks associated with visualizations: people do not always interpret visualizations in the way they were intended. Visualizations are often used to represent abstract concepts in a concrete way. That makes them metaphors.

The aim of this research is to find out which metaphorical relationship best suits the communication about uncertainty of pension benefits, which visual forms connect to this and how we can help people to interpret the visualization correctly.

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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