We’ve heard the saying a thousand times. Yet, when I look at pensions, which is most days, I see thousands of words and very few pictures.
Just recently I had to do a little routine maintenance on our washing machine – cleaning a filter. I hadn’t done it before and, in blatant contravention of the rules of being a man, I looked at the instructions. It had a few words and several pictures. Looking at the pictures, it was immediately obvious what to do and I completed the task easily and with absolutely no swearing involved. The words on their own wouldn’t have been that helpful; the pictures on their own would have done the job.
Back in the summer my elder son, who is shooting ever sky-ward, needed some adjustments to his BMX bike. He went one better than me. Not for him mere pictures: he found a video of how to make the adjustments on YouTube. Again, DIY-free zone Dad managed to do the job with unexpected ease.
So to pensions and Joe and Josephine Public. They probably already have full-time jobs, maybe a family, too. They don’t have time to become an expert in everything they come into contact with. All around every one of us there’s complexity, yet instinctively we just want to know where to sign or click. I know pensions are a big commitment, there’s a lot riding on them and there’s a lot of information we are obliged to convey. If we care about the pension members – and I think most of us do – let’s not just give them more and more to read. So much easier to digest are photos, diagrams, charts and (thanks, son) videos.