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Pension Education Fund

Volume 472: debated on Monday 25 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how his Department plans to measure the performance and efficacy of the pension education fund. (183535)

DWP has commissioned an independent case study evaluation to:

Explore the impact of the fund initiatives on individuals’ knowledge and attitudes towards planning for retirement and on savings behaviour;

Provide evidence to help assess the potential role that a trusted third party can play in delivering pensions information; and

Explore providers’ experiences of setting up and running the initiatives.

Research has been conducted with 14 Pension Education Fund schemes selected to ensure coverage of a range of different types of initiatives. In-depth interviews were the main research tool in this study, through which the research organisation have collected detailed information on providers’ experiences of setting up and running particular initiatives, on employers’ experience of participating, and on the influence that funded activities have had on individuals’ attitudes to retirement planning and saving for retirement.

In addition, all 26 schemes are being monitored through contract management processes and PEF funded organisations are conducting their own evaluations to understand their perspectives on delivery.

A DWP research report on the evaluation will be published in spring 2008.


1. The PEF offered funding to local and national not-for-profit organisations (such as trade unions, charities, trade associations and the voluntary sector) to use innovative ways to increase financial awareness and encourage working people to provide for their retirement, especially among those that might be at more risk of undersaving.

2. The principle is to provide impartial and accurate information on pensions and retirement planning via trusted third parties to individuals (employees and self-employed people) in the workplace, where practicable.

3. The projects are running between January 2006 and March 2008.

4. Closing date for applications was 2 September 2005.

5. 55 applications were received and examined against financial and quality criteria and the process overseen by an Independent Decision Panel.

6. 26 were accepted, covering all Government Office regions and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and a range of organisational types including charities, trade unions, employer groups and the voluntary sector.

7. Information is being delivered by the projects using a variety of methods including group events, one to ones, websites, CDs, information booklets/packs and by training intermediaries and union members who return to the workplace and cascade information.