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What’s 10-foot tall, multi-coloured and tasked to change our perception of pensions in the workplace?

Workie. He’s the larger than life character we’ve developed as part of an exciting new campaign calling on people not to ignore workplace pensions.

You can’t fail to notice him!

Don't Ignore the Workplace Pension

With so much activity in the world of pensions at the moment, we have to make sure we grab people’s interest and attention.

We need all employers to understand their legal responsibility to their staff when it comes to the provision of workplace pensions as well as ensuring that people know they are entitled to a workplace pension. Therefore, the Government has to keep promoting Automatic Enrolment.

We have already made great strides forward. The successful “I’m in” campaign was aimed at employees of large firms and ensured that more than 60,000 of Britain’s larger employers automatically enrolled almost 5.5 million employees into a workplace pension. Nevertheless, only the UK’s largest employers (less than 5% of UK employers) have started the Automatic Enrolment process, so reaching out to the smaller employers – even those with just one employee, like a carer or nanny for example - is an essential part of making the policy work.

Therefore, the next challenge is to engage with these 1.8 million small and micro employers – many of whom don’t consider themselves “businesses”!

From next year, these employers will be approaching the date when their workplace pension duties come into effect. The time is right for a new approach.

We must reach out to help small employers realise they have duties under Automatic Enrolment. They need to set up a pension scheme if they have eligible workers to enrol and tell their workers what is happening (though in practice many of the schemes provide this for employers). This is so important because if small and micro employers do not comply it will mean that their employees miss out on the opportunity to save for a pension. It may also mean that they face financial penalties, but our first approach is always to help employers comply with their duties.

As numbers of employers, and their employees, embarking on the Automatic Enrolment journey reach unprecedented levels, we need a campaign with real impact to drive engagement and raise awareness of Automatic Enrolment across all audiences. Just as it is important that we ensure workers stay enrolled, it is also vital to ensure the employers set up a scheme for their eligible employees in the first place. We wanted to find a way to reach out in a more friendly, engaging manner like many other campaigns which have used a character route in this way successfully (Meerkats, Churchill dog, Buzby bird etc.)

In development, the “Don’t ignore the Workplace Pension” campaign proved to have high impact in highlighting how ridiculous it is to ignore something as big and important as the Workplace Pension and making people realise that if they were an employer they had to take action – checking with the Pensions Regulator to start with.

So the campaign has been designed to raise awareness, encourage more employers to recognise their responsibilities and help as many as possible avoid the fines they may face if they do not comply with the law.

The campaign website - – contains helpful tools and videos. It directs employers to find help and support with getting set up to meet their specific duties. Furthermore, the campaign has also been deliberately designed to tie in with a revamp of The Pensions Regulator’s website which now uses simpler language, includes clear and straightforward steps and features tailored journeys for different types of employers to help them identify what they need to do.

Our new campaign is running across TV, radio, print and digital channels and is designed to target a diverse audience with a simple and memorable call to action – “Don’t ignore the Workplace Pension”. Workie, as the personification of Workplace Pensions, does just that.

With so many millions of workers set to benefit from a more secure financial future, the cost of this campaign is money well spent. The cost of advertising in the new campaign is similar to the money spent each year for the past 3 years. It represents a major commitment to keep helping promote Automatic Enrolment, which will boost retirement incomes for millions of future pensioners.

The Government committed to providing security for working people at every stage of their lives, including giving people the chance to plan for a financially secure retirement. Automatic Enrolment is a big part of that. Don’t ignore it!.

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