Landscape attends 2023 PMI DC and Master Trust event

In April, we attended the Pension Management Institute’s DC and Master Trust event in Aldwych, London. This year’s event focused on how attitudes and relationships towards money have evolved through the lens of the cost-of-living crisis, and its impact on members. Representing us was our behavioural consultant Marliane Owen, who spoke on a panel with several other heavyweights in the pensions and financial wellbeing world, including Wealth at Work’s Head of Client Development, Mark Hewitson. 

The panel concluded that despite some scaremongering amongst the press, there is very little evidence to suggest that people are opting out of pensions to cope with the cost of living crisis. In fact, in some instances, contributions have increased and according to Robert Cochran from Scottish Widows, their data suggests that a section of the population has increased their personal savings. 

Marliane pointed out that “people think differently about money depending on its source or what it is intended for. This is known as ‘mental accounting’ and it could go some way to explain why pensions have remained largely unaffected”. Another possible reason for the cost of living crisis thus far having a minimal impact on pensions is that engaging with pensions is generally not that easy and savers may not be aware of the mechanisms for pausing or stopping contributions. 

The cost of living crisis has made conversations about money more topical and trustees and employers can use the momentum to increase engagement. Using digital solutions will enable managers to make it easier to interact with pension decisions but also build in pauses, or sludge, for additional considerations are required.

Did you attend the event or have additional thoughts on the panel’s discussions/conclusions? If so, we’d be interested in hearing them. You can find us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook

We plan to attend several more financial wellbeing events in 2023. So watch this space!