Royal London to issue wake-up packs five years before retirement

Hannah Godfrey reports...

Royal London has updated its wake-up pack strategy for pension clients and will now get in touch a full five years before a saver’s scheduled retirement date.

Current rules mean providers must issue a pre-retirement wake-up pack six months before they are due to take benefits.

However, Royal London will now send its customers their first information five years before retirement. It said it hoped people would use financial advisers to get the most out of their pension pots.

After the initial contact, savers will get an updated retirement engagement pack each year just after their birthday.

Royal London said when customers are within a year of retirement they will get a ‘wake-up pack’ at both six months and three months before retirement.

The information changes according to how close they are to retirement – for example, the five-year pack suggests talking to a financial adviser whereas the six-month information discusses retirement options immediately.

“It’s not just about extending the length of the conversation. We also want our customers to really engage with their retirement planning while encouraging them to seek impartial financial advice”, said Royal London pensions expert Jamie Clark.

“That’s why we’ve worked with real customers to create a new suite of retirement communications.

“Using simple steps, clear visuals and plain English, we think our new material challenges the style of communication customers might have come to expect from their pension provider.

“We believe this new approach will not only improve customer engagement – but will also help them make more informed decisions when the time comes,” he added.