What comes to mind when considering looking into and/or adjusting one’s pension: An empirical study among UK and US residents

“Positive emotions and feelings also drive pension decisions”

Pension reforms often result in the responsibility for an adequate pension falling more on individual participants. It is then important that participants sufficiently understand their pension situation and adjust it where desired. Effective interventions to promote this require a better understanding of the motivations for looking at the pension situation. We investigated this with an online study, asking three hundred people in the UK and the US what came to mind when considering looking at their pension savings or adjusting their pension plans. Respondents provided self-generated answers to obviate any potential blind spots in previous research.

Key Takeaways for the Industry

  • Measures to promote involvement among pension participants could include new interventions based on appealing to positive emotions.
  • Research on the effects of pension communication should make a clear distinction between the decision to look at your pension situation and the decision to actually making use of an option.

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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