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Daylight savings and retirement savings

24 March 2017

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Peter Nicholas discusses the importance of communications and the importance of working together to find the right way to save for the future.

There is always a bit of a moan when daylight savings starts. Firstly there's the confusion, "So are the clocks going forward or back?"

Then the adjustment, it's like a jetlag without going anywhere. And finally there are the perennial arguments about the fade damage to curtains from the extra daylight.

In life there are always reasons why not, the reality is we adjust. It may take a week or two, yet we all conform.

The norm is the norm, the time is the time and we get on with our lives.

We start enjoying the longer evenings in anticipation of those wonderful summer days ahead of us. I can already taste the Pimms.

How does this apply to retirement saving?
It's about a small change in behaviour for an individual that delivers significant benefits at a societal level, just like auto-enrolment. Yet again, there are always people with reasons why not.

Auto-enrolment, like the "extra" hour creates an opportunity to embrace change and to develop the habit of retirement savings. Just like daylight savings we're all in it together.

Of course, there is no opt-out of daylight savings, the daylight savings time change is compulsory. (I can't help but show my Australian bias here and argue that pension saving should also be compulsory.)

Anyway, within the compulsory daylight savings system we have choices – choices on how we use the day.

We could spend longer in the office waiting for darkness to descend or sit on the couch watching TV with the curtains closed to keep the daylight off the screen.

Alternatively we could embrace the change and pursue the possibility of evening adventuring, gardening, golf or even an Aussie style BBQ.

The opportunity is there to do something rather than doing nothing.

Of course there will always be reasons why not!

As communicators our job, in part, is to deal with the reasons why not. To help people act in their own best interest, particularly when it's easier for them to do nothing.

To help employees leverage the retirement savings potential presented by auto-enrolment and get them to do something that will make a difference when they are no longer working.

Good communication has three clear objectives – to impact what people think, feel and do.

I read the following words from Dr Mike Evans this week and it ticked all three boxes for me, "Try to limit your sitting and sleeping time to just 23 and a half hours a day"

Will you look back on your summer with relish or regret?

Written by Peter Nicholas,Managing Director & CEO, AHC.