Increasing pension engagement and customer retention through human centred design

Standard Life

Pension engagement has always been a complex challenge for pension providers; we partnered with Standard Life to develop a strategy that finally helped empower customers and brought business benefits with it, including retention throughout the customer journey, and an increase in pension applications.

Educate and empower

Standard Life chose us thanks to our extensive pensions & savings sector expertise. We worked with them to educate and empower people to prepare for retirement earlier. Digital played a central role in this program of work due to its accessibility and the operational efficiency it offered.

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All about engagement

Despite automatic enrolment, pension engagement remains low. According to The Pensions & Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA), only 23% of people understand how much they need to save for retirement. At the same time, decisions have become more complex due to pension freedoms.


As a result, Standard Life found that customers seeking advice were abandoning digital support channels in favour of financial advisors. This route was not accessible to all customers and resulted in considerable lost business.


  • Help customers better understand their retirement choices
  • Be prepared for increasing legislation to improve the quality of advice given to customers by their pension provider
  • Increase digital as a service and information channel for pre-retirement customers
  • Reduce flow of customers to IFAs at pre-retirement

How we got there

  • Created an improved digital pre-retirement journey focused on user needs.
  • Made a complex subject digestible through the right language and content.
  • Improved triaging of customers based on assets and knowledge.
  • Keeping the customer voice and needs at the forefront through research and user testing.
  • A content strategy that tackled traditional and emerging pension challenges.
  • Move from product-first to needs-first mindset.

Strategy, support & a big result

With a wide range of stakeholders to involve, collaboration was key to the success of this project. To make sure everyone was engaged, we created and managed a core project team and wider working group.


As well as supporting the Standard Life team, we delivered the strategy and consultative support that allowed customer needs to be considered throughout.

A 62% increase in pension applications from search

A year-on-year increase of 34% in SEO traffic