The latest in who-would-have-guessed-it research: Just 4% of British people like the word pension. (So, does that mean P&I needs a new title?) Eighteen percent associate it with the word “gray”; about 10% think the word is too old-fashioned.
Oh, no, who's going to do something about this? Insurer and retirement services provider AXA and publisher Collins English Dictionaries, that's who. They have a contest to come up with a new word to replace “pension.”
“Worryingly, almost three-quarters (72%) of 18- to 24-year-olds (in the U.K.) associate the word ("pension') with old age,” according to an AXA news release, citing research the Paris-based company sponsored. Now, before you say, “Duh,” consider this: Because they don't like the word, one in five young adults might put off saving for retirement for five years, costing each lollygagger almost £45,000 ($75,000), AXA estimates.
“It's always hard to determine what changes people's behavior,” but adding new words to the English language allows for greater distinction to be made between similar things, said Elaine Higgleton, editorial director at Collins English Dictionaries, Glasgow, Scotland. Example: A generation ago we drank a “cup of coffee,” while now we might have an “Americano.”
“We may see the same thing happen with savings plans,” she said.
AXA and Collins will select five finalists; the public can vote here. The new phrase will be announced Dec. 6.
Whatever is chosen, we hope it doesn't end in -izzle. —Drew Carter