Based on the work conducted in the area of pensions, EIOPA has drawn some key principles and recommendations which can be applied to information disclosures:
- Design should take into account behavioural aspects
- Information should be presented so that it responds to key questions of the user
- Layering principles should be used in line with the priorities of consumers
- It is important to engage with communication experts or with behavioural finance experts when developing blueprints, templates or technical guidance
- Testing of disclosures with users should be put in place to ensure that the combination of design features and tools fit both the information needs of the user and the legal requirements.
- Use layering, signposting and click-buttons to reduce the amount of information provided in disclosures.
- Breaking down the information in layers is a helpful tool to help the user ‘grow’ into the topic and get acquainted with more complete and precise information.
- The first layer should respond to the user’s main key questions (e.g. by when can I retire? How much will I get at retirement?) by aggregating information (e.g. from all pension sources) and presenting it in a simple and understandable manner (e.g. projected monthly income in today’s prices and the default retirement date)
- Providing simple and aggregated information on the first layer makes the information easier to understand by all users, regardless of their financial literacy.
- Links and signposts to deeper layers should clearly show what can be found there and anticipate the information needs of the user, for example with FAQs.
- The disclosure should display the most important information in a way that stands out regardless of the device that is used (website or mobile app). In this regard, a “mobile first” approach could be used as a design method to keep the information simple.
- The use of layout stylistic tools (questions in headings, font type, structuring of text in sections, boxes or tables) and visual aids (symbols, colours, diagrams or animations) can make disclosures attractive, effective and easy to read for the user.
- A combination of these tools can drive the reader’s attention to the most important information and enable him/her to navigate easily through the information.
- The communication of projections should be accompanied by a disclaimer highlighting that projections are only estimates and they are not the exact amount a person will actually get at retirement.
- The assumptions used for the calculation of projections should be placed in a second layer.
- The presentation of difficult concepts (e.g. projections with scenarios, purchasing power, impact of inflation, compound interest, nominal vs. real amounts, etc.) should be made as simple as possible and accompanied with helping aids (explanations, pictures, movies) to make it more digestible for a user with low financial education.
- Such difficult concepts should be placed in a second or third layer with a clear signposting.