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Govt plans £10m auto-enrolment comms campaign


The Government will launch a £10m automatic enrolment communications campaign featuring TV and radio ads in January, Money Marketing understands.

The Department for Work and Pensions’ ability to orchestrate a large-scale auto-enrolment awareness campaign was in doubt after its marketing budget was frozen as part of the comprehensive spending review in October.

But Money Marketing understands the DWP has secured £10m of additional funding from the Treasury to publicise the flagship pension reforms ahead of the October 2012 launch date.

Legal & General pensions strategy director Adrian Boulding says: “Politicians of all parties should be rightly proud of auto-enrolment, as it will make pensions much more socially inclusive than they have ever been before. Auto-enrolment is going to correct the current imbalance of pensions across age, gender and ethnicity. This is something really worth shouting about and it is great that we are going to do so on TV and radio to get maximum coverage.”

In December, Money Marketing revealed that Government officials had met with product providers and the Association of British Insurers to discuss low-cost communication strategies.

At the time, the DWP planned to raise awareness of the reforms by placing stories in the media and providing information through the website.

Lucian Camp Consulting principal Lucian Camp says: “In terms of publicity, this is the brief from hell. It calls for a phased campaign between 2012 and 2016 because people who are not affected by the reforms until 2016 will not remember an advert from four years ago.”


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There are 9 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Didnt a previous Government do something similar when people were allowed to transfer out of occupational pension schemes.

    We all know how that turned out. That time it was the industry that had to cough up compensation – will it be the tax payer this time?

    PS what are L&G getting out of this? People already have access to low cost pensions in the shape of stakeholder pensions so I fail to see how this will improve things as most people will opt out as soon as they see the money coming out of their wageslip.

    Auto enrolment will fail because those it is aimed at dont have the spare cash – just noticed petrol, gas and electricity prices are going up again.

  2. Sean’s comment is absolutely correct. As finance man for a small family business we encouraged a good take up in our stakeholder scheme, set up with an IFA. Out of 18 members we now have 2 who are paying much reduced contributions. Why? Because living is just too expensive to save and when you see your pension fund decreasing year by year despite paying in, then it’s no contest. Sadly pensions have a bad name and there is no encouragement to save elsewhere.

  3. “Politicians should be rightly proud of auto-enrolment” – what TOSH.

    Firstly, it’s hardly rocket science and demanded nothing more than making yet another law.

    Secondly, auto-enrolment was the way it was 20 years ago when the UK had many good private sector pensions available – companies could afford to provide decent pension schemes until Gordon Brown’s greed and incompetence wrecked things.

    Thirdly, it is only by forcing emploers to contribute a fixed percentage of earnings that will incentivise people to join – with or without the advertising. But employers will still need to find the money to pay for this so expect wages and other employment benefits to diminish as a result.

    The politicians think they are helping people by ensuring they have a few bob in a pension pot at retirement. The value of that pot will be massively insufficient but will help to reduce the amount of benefit that the pensioner might otherwise receive in benefits – effectively a 100% tax on the pension.

    The government should get out of ill-gotten wars, chase benefit fraudsters, ship out all illegals, STOP immigration and make sure British people get British jobs, STOP bonuses for RBS, Northern Rock and Lloyds and any other state-owned bank, sack every quangocrat including those at the FSA.
    and jail EVERY politician proven to have swindled the tax payer. Having done all this they could afford to give everyone over the age of 65 a decent pension – say, £10,000pa.

    Given that my views accord with most hard-working, tax-paying, law-abiding British citizens, the government will take no notice whatsoever. So we’ll all go to hell in a handcart unless you are an MP, town hall bureaucrat, quangocrat or premier league football player.

  4. Well said! If I could afford a pension I would have one, unfortunatly on my income level, below £10,000 per annum, I simply cannot afford for any money to be taken out and I am just one of millions who are in the same boat. I just wish the government had some idea of what is going on out here!! Clearly they have no idea at all!!

  5. I suppose we should be grateful this campaign is paid for with taxpayers money & not another industry levy which we have no say in
    Unfortunately “socially inclusive” does not mean affordable & therefore I suspect this will go the same way as stakeholder

  6. The ‘publicity’ is already happening – at least surreptitiousy. Go to YouTube and search for ‘nestpensions’ and you’ll see what I mean.

  7. The rot started well before Gordon Brown came on the scene, for example, the previous Tory super tax on pension fund profits and pension holidays for company contributions to avoid paying that tax.

    Hearing of £14 billion paid out in UK bankers’ bonuses this year also makes me wonder why the huge discrepany between the very rich (bankers) and the poor who cannot even contemplate paying into a pension fund of any kind due to the need to eat in order to live.

  8. The government can find money to advertise something that isn’t happening yet and that people haven’t any choice about anyway and yet they say they’re so strapped for cash they’re trying to make women who have already seen their pension age increase once accept another 2 years onto their working lives. How the heck do they expect anyone to afford private pensions anyway, gas, electricity, food – you know such luxuries as these – are just about all we can scrape for these days.

  9. Nearly every day seems to bring yet another ridiculous pensions “idea”. In the past three or four days alone we’ve had this, the SMF’s laughable pension-with-lottery-ticket, and a pointless proposal for a £5000 mini-pension.

    Previous commenters have nailed it on this one. Has April 1st arrived earlier than expected?

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