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Case Studies

Study 1

Communicating pensions change


To communicate a complex change programme to final salary scheme members and simultaneously roll out a new index-linked pension fund.


Rubicon worked with HR and the pensions department to consider:

  • which roles were fundamentally in-house,
  • which to delegate,
  • how to identify different audiences,
  • the processes and timescales involved and,
  • the most effective media for the job.

With the strategy agreed, we developed communication materials to help current members evaluate the relative merits of the existing and new pension arrangements. The various options available to current members and the deadlines for making a decision were explained in detail.


The new pension fund was rolled out to all new employees and existing non-members. Rubicon developed a branding for the new fund that was distinct from the existing final salary scheme in such a way that it could also partner that scheme and be recognisable as part of the family of benefits offered by the company. Against a background of adverse reaction by employees to any change in company pension arrangements, the success of this project is testament to a sound planning process, working with key stakeholders to identify and resolve potential issues of conflict before the launch.

Study 2

Communications strategy for a new pension plan


To design and implement communications for a new pension plan.


The new plan replicated benefits for former employees of the parent company. Rubicon recognised the importance of giving members a sense of familiarity. However, we also suggested that a distinct branding be developed to help reaffirm the change in company structure and engender a sense of belonging to the new organisation.


Member packs were prepared and issued for two different sections of the plan and included explanatory booklets, forms, AVC literature and additional explanations for those on shift pay and with deferred pensions in the main company plan.

Ongoing communications, including a regular trustee newsletter, embrace the new branding and keep members up to date with news about their plan and wider pension developments.

Study 3

Communicating a new range of pension choices


Establish a strategy for the UK arm of a multinational employer to communicate the closure of the UK pension plan to new members and offer all employees a new range of choices.


Identifying and conveying the key messages was vital. Existing and future benefits would be safeguarded for current members. But to continue earning future benefits members would have to increase contributions. An announcement was produced to give clear guidance on how the changes would affect members and what action they needed to take.

New employees would be invited to join a personal pension plan, with financial backing from the employer. Current members could join the personal pension as an alternative to paying additional contributions to the UK plan. The communications pack included examples of the effect of the increase in member contributions and a comparison of the plan's features with those of the new personal pension arrangement. The personal pension booklet was employer branded and produced to reflect the employer's overall communication strategy.


The vast majority of existing members increased their contributions to continue earning benefits linked to their salary. A number of employees who had previously declined membership of the UK plan enrolled before the deadline when the plan closed to new members.

The personal pension plan was successfully launched for new employees with its own identity aligned to the employer's benefit package.

Study 4

Web-based employee benefits newsletter


To issue an annual 'Pay and Benefits' newsletter including information about how pay scales are measured against those of comparable organisations, how bonuses are calculated and updates on the company's flexible benefits scheme. Much of the information is 'hot off the press' and only available within a few weeks of the announcement of that year's pay review and bonus share.


Rubicon developed an online newsletter to carry all the features that appeared in the printed version traditionally issued to employees, but with some unrivalled advantages.

With the basic framework of the site up and running after the first year, subsequent editions build on this platform. This means the design can be adapted to give a fresh identity to each year's newsletter and, of course, the content will change every time.

Issuing the newsletter online means speed and flexibility in the production process, the opportunity for last minute editing and the ability to go interactive (user surveys for feedback).


Publishing an online version rather than the traditional printed newsletter proved very successful for this client and allowed them to introduce new features into the newsletter. From a user perspective, the format means articles of specific interest can be read in isolation and links created to draw attention to related areas. The site sits on the client's intranet to be viewed throughout the year and used as a reference tool as required.

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