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DWP spends ‘paltry’ £660k on state pension awareness campaign

A high-profile Government campaign explaining the new single-tier state pension will cost taxpayers over £660,000, Money Marketing can reveal.

But advisers say the figure is “paltry” given the importance of the changes and compared to the money spent on boosting awareness of the auto-enrolment pension reforms.

A Freedom of Information request submitted by Money Marketing shows during 2014 and 2015, £370,000 will be spent on adverts in the national press; £12,000 in local newspapers, £132,000 on radio and £146,000 on digital advertising to communicate the reforms which abolish contracting out and the state second pension from April 2016.

The total of £661,493 pales in comparison with the Department of Work and Pensions’ multi-million pound budget for promoting auto-enrolment.

The DWP says the campaign targets two audiences – those who reach state pension age before April 2016 and will continue to be paid under the old system, and future retirees who will get the new single tier-state pension.

EA Financial Solutions managing director Minesh Patel says: “The changes are so important to communicate because for many the state pension is the core of their income.

“£660,000 sounds a bit paltry to me, to communicate all that to the general public – it should be everywhere.”

Aurora Financial Solutions director Daren O’Brien adds: “It doesn’t sound like a large amount of money in relation to how much governments normally spend. It’s a big number but actually considering it affects so many people, it’s not a lot.

“It’s a tiny fraction of the Government’s budget when it’s such a massive change to legislation.”

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  1. Obviously the Government doesn’t want people to understand that the changes aren’t as good as it sounded when first announced.

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