“Constantly talking isn’t necessarily communicating.”

― Charlie Kaufman

According to Scottish Widows’ Workplace Pensions Report 34% of workers had not heard about Auto Enrolment…but according to the DWP they are spending £8.1m on print, online and radio adverts in 2012/13 to tell us about Auto enrolment – Maybe they are saving all their money and are looking to compete with the Christmas rush…? Where did that money go???

The message is clearly not getting through to all employees, but with the “I’m in” campaign being heralded as a success by Steve Webb and quote “…there will be more communications, more campaigns and more household names saying they are ‘in’.” I think it is fair to say that we will be getting a few more celebrity business owners smiling and telling us the magical words we all want to hear…Richard Branson? A.N.Other Dragon? Postcards for any further suggestions please…

Anyway, while we need to do more regarding employee communications,  I have a concern, all this “I’m in” is very employee focused. I feel that the bigger problems is that the message is not getting through to enough employers about the difficulties of Auto Enrolment. We need to find new and different ways to educate and allow them understand the complications that Auto Enrolment can represent to them. We certainly need to reinforce the cost of fines if they get it wrong or worse do nothing! I  spoke with a director/owner of a company recently (42 employees) and he just said “I am having nothing to do with this pension stuff, I am just going to opt out!” clearly this kind and level of understanding could cause employers some problems.

Auto Enrolment is a good idea, I will even stick my neck out and say I think the phasing of contributions is a master stroke on a number of counts (inducement of apathy from employees and allowed the introduction of this policy during a recession). The main problem is the difficulty that administration will present to employers and if they do not understand this from the off then there will be trouble ahead.

I think George Bernard Shaw sums it up nicely “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

We cannot let this happen, TAP Assist work with advisers on helping them deliver this information and understanding to employers, with support services like seminars, webex and conference calls or marketing literature, posters, workshops etc.  We can help you get the Auto Enrolment message across to employers and in turn their employees.  If you are interested in learning more about how we can help you then please drop us a line.