Cold, hard facts are not getting people to save more for retirement and providers should instead appeal to emotions, a study has found.
Savers are generally disinterested in financial information, fail to set a savings regimen, and do not focus on the long term, the research by employee communication specialists Like Minds and philosophers at The School of Life also found.
Providers that focus communications on overcoming challenges and encourage micro-savings habits find it easier to boost savings over time.
The conclusions are based on in-depth interviews and a survey of over 1,000 people, who can be split into "impulsives" and "planners" with the latter more likely to be actively saving for retirement.
Like Minds co-founder and director Nick Throp said it was time for the industry to adopt a new approach.
"Behavioural characteristics and emotion play a far bigger role in our dealings with money than we might think," he said. "We need to look beyond providing factual information and engage with people before we educate them.
"After decades of failing to engage people in saving and managing their money into retirement, employers and the financial services industry need to apply more emotional intelligence to their communications.
"We need a different conversation with people - one that gets them much more inspired and excited."
The study recommended firms take a three-pronged approach to communications, adopting psychology, philosophy and art to push the case for saving.
This would enable providers to understand savers' thoughts and feelings, give a "real-life meaning" to the process, and trigger an emotional response to encourage ideas and goals.
School of Life founding chairman Alain de Botton said imagination is central to boosting outcomes.
"However odd it sounds, a central part of us doesn't believe we're going to get old," he said. "There are evolutionary reasons for our limited horizons - our distant ancestors had far less certainty about their future lives and the need to plan.
"But our imagination is an incredible tool and the right habits and rituals, if encouraged, can help this process along."
PP recently explored how the EU referendum and election of President Trump showed that communicating with people on a gut level can be a very an effective persuasion tool.
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