Relationship since





Improved member's financial wellbeing and confidence


Kitchen giant, Howdens, has always taken pride in being 'worthwhile for all'. However, in 2020 an internal review showed that its old defined benefit (DB) pension scheme was no longer universally beneficial for its employees. Instead, Howdens wanted to enhance a contract-based defined contribution (DC) scheme, by increasing contributions for all members and introducing additional matched contributions.

Howdens approached us to help execute and communicate scheme changes across a widely diverse, dispersed workforce, as well as support them in improving their employees’ financial wellbeing.


Achieving maximum reach

To achieve the biggest impact, we identified that Howdens would need a holistic, multi-channel engagement programme that would increase pensions engagement and improve employees' financial wellbeing – regardless of their age, or career stage.

An innovative suite of initiatives and tools was rolled out across Howdens' diverse, dispersed workforce (consisting of over 11,000 employees spread across 800 depots, including many on-the-road workers), including:

  • Extensive communications to explain the pension structure changes – including roadshows, workshops, and online content
  • A year-round, site-wide communications calendar, including webinars and presentations (across all sites and depots), providing members with a continuous stream of information without overwhelming them
  • An online ‘Plan Your Future’ hub, with easy-to-digest, personalised content based on individuals’ life stage, plus access to our investment hub for members to make changes to their plan
  • Access to our innovative open finance tool, Money Mindset, which allows members to combine their financial accounts, set financial goals, and boost their financial knowledge using our library of bitesize content. They can also view and make changes to their pensions quickly and easily through Howdens Benefits Hub (Lifelens)
  • Our award-winning Client Analytics tool. This enables Howdens to see where every member is predicted to fall within the PLSA Retirement Living Standards, as well as download ready-made communication campaigns that target the right people, with the right message, at the right time


A survey of over 800 Howdens employees revealed a clear correlation between engagement with our tools and communications, and increased levels of financial confidence, overall employee engagement, and loyalty. Following the campaign:

Improved financial wellbeing and confidence

increased their contributions


More likely to engage with their pension*


Engaging messages meant 81% were more confident about their financial future**


Website and App users were 39% more confident about their financial future


* of those who noticed the communications
** 81% of those who had a high recall of the communications

Increased engagement and retention

  • Those with a high recall of comms were 21% more likely to stay in the next 12 months and 25% more likely to recommend Howdens as an employer
  • Those that engaged more with the website and app were 10% more likely to stay in the next 12 months and 10% more likely to recommend Howdens as an employer

Ultimately, our efforts are helping every Howdens employee to take firm control of their financial futures.

Member feedback

I like being able to have instant access to my savings plan so I can see how well my pension is doing, being able to make changes without the bureaucracy, and the ease of being able to transfer pensions without suffering a financial penalty. The information on Standard Life’s website is easy to read and accessible. I have just downloaded the Standard Life app, after being made aware of it from this survey.

- Mark Williams, age: 44-54

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