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Finding new ways to engage with participants helping retirement outcomes — conference speakers

Panelists: Mai Lam, director of international retirement, American Express, left; Friederike Hanisch, manager, European Responsible Investment Network; Joe Bishop, general manager, customer, product and innovation, Kiwi Wealth; and Irene Kang, group director, communications, Central Provident Fund board.

Engaging with and educating participants early on in their employment are key to helping them achieve better retirement outcomes, said retirement executives at the Pensions & Investments WorldPensionSummit in The Hague, Netherlands.

Speaking on a panel, executives agreed that a lower level of engagement among younger participants is a result of providing financial information in an ineffective format.

"We give the information that we think is important rather than the information that the members can relate to," said Joe Bishop, general manager, customer, product and innovation at the NZ$3 billion ($2.2 billion) Kiwi Wealth, Porirua, New Zealand.

Some pension funds are changing the ways they communicate with participants by increasing their presence on social media platforms to reach younger members.

Irene Kang, group director of communications at the S$346 billion ($256.3 billion) Central Provident Fund Board, Singapore, said: "We are pivoting from interruption to intervention. We launched a number of initiatives via social media platforms such as Instagram and now we are working a transactional statement into a video format."

But according to Mr. Bishop, even more traditional forms of communication could be effective. "We found success by putting into letters to participants a certain kind of language, for example phrases such as 'eight out of nine participants.' And in result, our engagement level went up by 47%," Mr. Bishop said.