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Pension systems: Your members are mobile, why aren’t you?

This piece explores three ways for pension systems to step out of “sleep” mode and use mobile to improve customer satisfaction and service quality.

Overview

Pension members of all ages have a mobile life—from young workers in their 20s to middle-aged professionals to elderly retirees. Ninety percent of American adults have a smart phone.1 In a typical week, 90 percent of 35-49 year olds browse the Internet on their smartphone (and 84 percent of those 70+).2 So why aren’t pension systems using mobile to enable new levels of service for their members?

Retirement agencies have explored digital platforms as a means to deliver public service for the future. Many have established a Web presence. Some offer self-service options or straight-through processing. A few even use social media channels to reach out to members. But in sum, retirement agencies haven’t adopted mobile.

This short point of view piece explores three ways in which pension systems can step out of sleep mode and take advantage of today’s mobile opportunities.

1. Pew Research Center, “Mobile Technology Fact Sheet;” January 2014; http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/mobile-technology-fact-sheet/

2. Experian Marketing Services

Background

There are many reasons why pension systems haven’t gone mobile—lack of familiarity, lack of comfort, and lack of time and resources, to name a few. By overcoming these barriers, they can move faster toward convenient, cost-effective mobile services.

Key Findings
Pension systems can improve customer satisfaction by enhancing service quality, availability and effectiveness. Those pension systems that make the entire retirement experience a richer one by employing mobile tools are the ones who will truly deliver public service for the future.

Analysis

A few obstacles are preventing pension systems from adopting mobile. Many have been busy moving from paper to online and haven’t yet focused on digital; some are waiting for the “killer feature” rather than making small, incremental improvements; and most do not have a person in charge to push the digital agenda forward.

Recommendations
There are three ways for pension systems to step out of sleep mode. First, use mobile to automate tasks, taking the burden off of staff and minimising—or even eliminating—time members spend waiting on hold. Second, integrate channels so that the same services available online are available on mobile devices. Third, dial into pensioners’ mobile lifestyles by using apps and social media to creatively connect with members.

Mobile Pensions Infographic

Pension members are going mobile

Pension members are overwhelmingly mobile with 84% of those aged 70+ browsing the internet on their smartphone. See the infographic that illustrates how pension systems and retirement agencies can wake up to mobile benefits.