You’re invited – RSVP! The role of tailoring in incentivising people to delve into their pension situation

Many people lack motivation to process pension information, as they do not feel the urgency to delve into their pension situation. This attitude may prevent them from taking informed pension decisions. This paper assesses whether offering tailored pension information based on age and gender is a way to get people interested in pension information. We conducted a randomised field experiment in which we sent email invitations to all employees of an insurance company to use an online tool, referred to as “the Pensioncheck”, in order to learn more about their personal pension situation. This experimental set-up enabled us to answer the following research question: Does tailoring induce participants to perform the Pensioncheck? The experiment provided data on (1) whether individuals clicked through from the invitation to the Pensioncheck website, (2) whether they logged in on the Pensioncheck website and (3) the amount of time they took to complete it. There was evidence suggesting a negative gender-tailoring effect and a negative gender- and age-tailoring effect for young females and middle-aged males concerning clicking and login behaviour. Additionally, we found a large positive age- and gender-tailoring effect for young participants regarding the time spent in the Pensioncheck. These may suggest that tailoring in the trigger phase can work in two opposite directions.

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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