Consumer attitudes toward retirement saving and spending should align, delegates heard Friday at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association's annual conference in Liverpool, England.
Panelists warned that people are not saving enough for retirement due to financial stress. "People are overcooking what they expect to get in retirement and undercooking the time of retirement," said Brian Henderson, partner and head of consulting at Mercer.
Laura Myers, partner and head of defined contribution at Lane Clark & Peacock speaking on the same panel, added that consumers don't have a lot of faith in the pension industry. "Consumers access their retirement pots because they think they should or because they think they may not be able to do so at a later time," Ms. Myers said.
But, Mr. Henderson said how people consume and invest should align. "Our engagement (efforts) should be a lot more personal. … We can get membership to increase the contribution by 30% if we make it personal … and use digital technology to do that. I think engagement really works," Mr. Henderson added.
Mr. Henderson added that the governance has to be not so much about the value for money but about values. "When you do the shopping, you fret about plastic straw or organic beef … but when you put £100 ($131) into (a) pension you basically let somebody else do the shopping," Mr. Henderson said.
Speaking on the same panel Friday, Tom McPhail, head of retirement policy at Hargreaves Lansdown said, "We need engagement, but we have to figure out how to do it better. And we haven't done it yet."