Case Study - Planning for Retirement

Client: Department for Work and Pensions
Sector: central government

The issue

The topic of pensions is rarely out of the headlines these days. Are people currently in work saving enough to provide for themselves in retirement? How can people, particularly young people and the self-employed, be persuaded to make adequate pensions provision for themselves? The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) provides grant-aid funding to The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS), an independent non-profit organisation that provides free information and guidance on the whole spectrum of pensions issues.

Alongside their website, leaflets, helpline and advisory services, TPAS also provides briefings to groups of staff in the workplace. The main aim of the talks is to explain to individuals how best they can plan for their retirement.  DWP wanted to assess whether the visits were value for money and, following our recent evaluation of the Pensions Education Fund (PEF), Risk Solutions was appointed to the task.

Methods adopted

We performed depth studies of a sample of workplace visits by:

  • Observing delivery of the briefings.
  • Gathering feedback from attendees, hosts, TPAS volunteer presenters and the TPAS workplace visit team.
  • Using a telephone and web-based survey, structured interviews and focus groups to gather the views of attendees.

This information was combined with statistics on the total numbers of talks delivered by TPAS and the numbers of attendees, and was analysed in detail to reveal the effectiveness of the visits.


DWP commissioned the research in 2009 to help them determine the future funding and strategy of TPAS. The approach provided a rich picture of the workplace visit service, what they cost to run, and the resulting benefits for attendees and hosts.  As a result of this work, the TPAS funders were assured that the service was being delivered effectively and were made aware of a number of issues that needed to be considered if the service was expanded.

Find out more

Risk Solutions' review of the TPAS workplace talks and information for employers on TPAS services is available by clicking the links below.  

For further information on our evaluation services please contact Helen Wilkinson at