phone Retirement Calculator

A easy-to-use calculator to increase contributions.

The challenge

Design a quick and easy to use calculator that results in increased contributions.

Responsibilities

Design lead Design exploration UX, UI design Research analysis Prototyping

Results

An ‘awareness and interest’ website, built in Webflow. A hugely successful large scale beta trial and increase in member contributions.

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The challenge

Design a quick and easy to use calculator that results in increased contributions.

Responsibilities

Design lead Design exploration UX, UI design Research analysis Prototyping

Results

An ‘awareness and interest’ website, built in Webflow. A hugely successful large scale beta trial and increase in member contributions.

2:10

loading…

The challenge

Design a quick and easy to use calculator that results in increased contributions.

Responsibilities

Design lead Design exploration UX, UI design Research analysis Prototyping

Results

An ‘awareness and interest’ website, built in Webflow. A hugely successful large scale beta trial and increase in member contributions.

2:10

loading…

The challenge

Design a quick and easy to use calculator that results in increased contributions.

Responsibilities

Design lead Design exploration UX, UI design Research analysis Prototyping

Results

An ‘awareness and interest’ website, built in Webflow. A hugely successful large scale beta trial and increase in member contributions.

2:10

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Situation 

72% of users are not actively engaged with their pension, and 28% of them never review their pension. This is known as the “scheme member engagement” problem in the pension industry. This is well known but widely accepted as an unsolvable problem. (Atlas Master Trust Survey, 2018)

  • It is widely accepted that the majority of UK employees are not saving enough for a financially stable retirement. (Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, Developing Retirement Living Standards, 2019)

  • Increased user engagement with pensions, combined with education, can prompt increased pension contributions. This can lead a better financial outcome in retirement for users, and increased assets under management (money) for the pension providers. 

  • One way to motivate users to save more (increase their pension contributions) is to show them an estimate of their future.


    The challenge was to design a simple and quick to use calculator that resulted in increased contributions. 

Situation 

72% of users are not actively engaged with their pension, and 28% of them never review their pension. This is known as the “scheme member engagement” problem in the pension industry. This is well known but widely accepted as an unsolvable problem. (Atlas Master Trust Survey, 2018)

  • It is widely accepted that the majority of UK employees are not saving enough for a financially stable retirement. (Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, Developing Retirement Living Standards, 2019)

  • Increased user engagement with pensions, combined with education, can prompt increased pension contributions. This can lead a better financial outcome in retirement for users, and increased assets under management (money) for the pension providers. 

  • One way to motivate users to save more (increase their pension contributions) is to show them an estimate of their future.


    The challenge was to design a simple and quick to use calculator that resulted in increased contributions. 

Situation 

72% of users are not actively engaged with their pension, and 28% of them never review their pension. This is known as the “scheme member engagement” problem in the pension industry. This is well known but widely accepted as an unsolvable problem. (Atlas Master Trust Survey, 2018)

  • It is widely accepted that the majority of UK employees are not saving enough for a financially stable retirement. (Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, Developing Retirement Living Standards, 2019)

  • Increased user engagement with pensions, combined with education, can prompt increased pension contributions. This can lead a better financial outcome in retirement for users, and increased assets under management (money) for the pension providers. 

  • One way to motivate users to save more (increase their pension contributions) is to show them an estimate of their future.


    The challenge was to design a simple and quick to use calculator that resulted in increased contributions. 

UX and design exploration

From the start this project was intended for all members - every user of the Smart Pension member app and all of it’s white-labelled partners’ apps. For this reason the design needed to be extremely simple to use.

I worked with the project stakeholders in several workshops and agreed on these requirements:

  1. Quick comprehension and usability - users should be able to understand it just by looking at the screen for a few moments.

  2. Motivate users to consider their contributions (and hopefully increase them, though we couldn’t legally advise it)

I explored various layouts adhering to these requirements, focusing on simplicity and motivation.

UX and design exploration

From the start this project was intended for all members - every user of the Smart Pension member app and all of it’s white-labelled partners’ apps. For this reason the design needed to be extremely simple to use.

I worked with the project stakeholders in several workshops and agreed on these requirements:

  1. Quick comprehension and usability - users should be able to understand it just by looking at the screen for a few moments.

  2. Motivate users to consider their contributions (and hopefully increase them, though we couldn’t legally advise it)

I explored various layouts adhering to these requirements, focusing on simplicity and motivation.

UX and design exploration

From the start this project was intended for all members - every user of the Smart Pension member app and all of it’s white-labelled partners’ apps. For this reason the design needed to be extremely simple to use.

I worked with the project stakeholders in several workshops and agreed on these requirements:

  1. Quick comprehension and usability - users should be able to understand it just by looking at the screen for a few moments.

  2. Motivate users to consider their contributions (and hopefully increase them, though we couldn’t legally advise it)

I explored various layouts adhering to these requirements, focusing on simplicity and motivation.

Early wireframing and error states logic

Early wireframing and error states logic

Early wireframing and error states logic

A very early design, before deciding on a fixed footer, and then many variations on the layout. All before concluding that it needed to include the employer’s contribution % as well as the employee’s (the user’s).

A very early design, before deciding on a fixed footer, and then many variations on the layout. All before concluding that it needed to include the employer’s contribution % as well as the employee’s (the user’s).

A very early design, before deciding on a fixed footer, and then many variations on the layout. All before concluding that it needed to include the employer’s contribution % as well as the employee’s (the user’s).

First beta trial

After some internal testing, the first version of the calculator went live to around 3,000 scheme members.

First beta trial

After some internal testing, the first version of the calculator went live to around 3,000 scheme members.

First beta trial

After some internal testing, the first version of the calculator went live to around 3,000 scheme members.

18%

Participants signed in and used the calculator

4%

Of those increased their contributions

18%

Participants signed in and used the calculator

4%

Of those increased their contributions

18%

Participants signed in and used the calculator

4%

Of those increased their contributions

This is excellent in terms of engagement - 18% is very high in the pension industry, especially with the added barrier of needing to sign in. It also received high scores in the CSAT feedback.

The issue was the 4% - very few users increased their contributions.

I hypothesised that this could be because users saw their estimated retirement income and thought ‘that’s enough’. It often looks like a lot of money, until you think about it needing to last for many years. We needed some guidelines, measures or social proof, so that the majority of users realised they weren’t saving enough.

The solution was to add the PLSA Retirement Living Standards to the calculator interface. This is a set of levels for ‘minimum’, ‘moderate’ and ‘comfortable’ retirement, recommended by the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association.

This is excellent in terms of engagement - 18% is very high in the pension industry, especially with the added barrier of needing to sign in. It also received high scores in the CSAT feedback.

The issue was the 4% - very few users increased their contributions.

I hypothesised that this could be because users saw their estimated retirement income and thought ‘that’s enough’. It often looks like a lot of money, until you think about it needing to last for many years. We needed some guidelines, measures or social proof, so that the majority of users realised they weren’t saving enough.

The solution was to add the PLSA Retirement Living Standards to the calculator interface. This is a set of levels for ‘minimum’, ‘moderate’ and ‘comfortable’ retirement, recommended by the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association.

This is excellent in terms of engagement - 18% is very high in the pension industry, especially with the added barrier of needing to sign in. It also received high scores in the CSAT feedback.

The issue was the 4% - very few users increased their contributions.

I hypothesised that this could be because users saw their estimated retirement income and thought ‘that’s enough’. It often looks like a lot of money, until you think about it needing to last for many years. We needed some guidelines, measures or social proof, so that the majority of users realised they weren’t saving enough.

The solution was to add the PLSA Retirement Living Standards to the calculator interface. This is a set of levels for ‘minimum’, ‘moderate’ and ‘comfortable’ retirement, recommended by the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association.

Earlier versions of the new RLS calculator, including versions where we considered including the state pension option. It was concluded that this would add too much complication to what was supposed to be a simple, quick calculator.

Earlier versions of the new RLS calculator, including versions where we considered including the state pension option. It was concluded that this would add too much complication to what was supposed to be a simple, quick calculator.

Earlier versions of the new RLS calculator, including versions where we considered including the state pension option. It was concluded that this would add too much complication to what was supposed to be a simple, quick calculator.

The design used in the second beta trial, including the Retirement Living Standards warnings.

The design used in the second beta trial, including the Retirement Living Standards warnings.

The design used in the second beta trial, including the Retirement Living Standards warnings.

Retirement Living Standards beta trial

We ran a second beta trial with a different set of users, with this new design including the Retirement Living Standards. It performed extremely well.

Retirement Living Standards beta trial

We ran a second beta trial with a different set of users, with this new design including the Retirement Living Standards. It performed extremely well.

Retirement Living Standards beta trial

We ran a second beta trial with a different set of users, with this new design including the Retirement Living Standards. It performed extremely well.

16%

Participants signed in and used the calculator

27%

Of those increased their pension contributions

16%

Participants signed in and used the calculator

27%

Of those increased their pension contributions

16%

Participants signed in and used the calculator

27%

Of those increased their pension contributions

This was a huge improvement! When scaled up to more users this could lead to a significant increase in users savings, and as a result, increase in Smart's assets under management (AUM).

This was a huge improvement! When scaled up to more users this could lead to a significant increase in users savings, and as a result, increase in Smart's assets under management (AUM).

This was a huge improvement! When scaled up to more users this could lead to a significant increase in users savings, and as a result, increase in Smart's assets under management (AUM).

Design system redesign

During this project, Smart was working on a new design system, and my work on that project included redesigning the Retirement Calculator to use the new Smart Platform Design System.

This was one of the features that broke away more from the old established design patterns of most of the member app, and so informed several of the more compact built components in the new design system. My case study on the Smart Platform Design System is currently in progress.

Design system redesign

During this project, Smart was working on a new design system, and my work on that project included redesigning the Retirement Calculator to use the new Smart Platform Design System.

This was one of the features that broke away more from the old established design patterns of most of the member app, and so informed several of the more compact built components in the new design system. My case study on the Smart Platform Design System is currently in progress.

Design system redesign

During this project, Smart was working on a new design system, and my work on that project included redesigning the Retirement Calculator to use the new Smart Platform Design System.

This was one of the features that broke away more from the old established design patterns of most of the member app, and so informed several of the more compact built components in the new design system. My case study on the Smart Platform Design System is currently in progress.

Large scale release

After the success of the small scale beta trials, the Retirement Calculator was launched to just under 300,000 eligible scheme members.

Large scale release

After the success of the small scale beta trials, the Retirement Calculator was launched to just under 300,000 eligible scheme members.

Large scale release

After the success of the small scale beta trials, the Retirement Calculator was launched to just under 300,000 eligible scheme members.

19%

Participants signed in and used the calculator

31%

Of those increased their pension contributions

1.1%

Average contributions increase (average member contribution is 5%)

19%

Participants signed in and used the calculator

31%

Of those increased their pension contributions

1.1%

Average contributions increase (average member contribution is 5%)

19%

Participants signed in and used the calculator

31%

Of those increased their pension contributions

1.1%

Average contributions increase (average member contribution is 5%)

This meant a significant increase in member savings and AUM. The project has been celebrated as a great success and is being gradually rolled out to remaining members.

This meant a significant increase in member savings and AUM. The project has been celebrated as a great success and is being gradually rolled out to remaining members.

This meant a significant increase in member savings and AUM. The project has been celebrated as a great success and is being gradually rolled out to remaining members.

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Figures correct as of December 2023.

Figures correct as of December 2023.

Figures correct as of December 2023.

© 2024 Joe Russell, all rights reserved.

© 2024 Joe Russell, all rights reserved.

© 2024 Joe Russell, all rights reserved.

© 2024 Joe Russell, all rights reserved.