RPMI raises awareness of personal finances in schools


Leading UK pensions administrator, RPMI has today announced the results of a pilot initiative designed to gauge the awareness of students from schools and colleges about personal finance and pensions.

The ’Money Matters’ programme assessed over 1,200 students aged between 15 and 18. The initiative was run by RPMI in conjunction with Bright Futures, a leading provider of work-related learning programmes to schools and colleges. Schools were chosen near Darlington, Coventry and London, close to RPMI’s three regional offices, enabling the company’s employees to participate and educate the students on personal finance issues.

Students were quizzed before and after the activity-based workshops they attended, which involved students working in teams and being set high-energy challenges to build awareness of financial matters, specifically on pensions.

Before the session, 69 per cent of respondents regarded pensions as an important factor to consider when looking for a job. Following the session, this rose to 94 per cent - an increase of 25 per cent.
Through a variety of interactive discussions and activities, students also learned more about pay day loans, credit cards, data security and budgeting, with the aim of helping them to be more confident in managing their finances in the future.

Personal finance is already taught in schools in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland as part of the curriculum and will be introduced into English schools from September this year.

Steven Webb MP, Minister of State for Pensions, said:
“The Government recognises the importance of incorporating personal finance education into the national curriculum for secondary schools and colleges. Young people need to be fully-equipped with the right skills, knowledge and confidence to be able to manage their personal finances.

“With auto enrolment now having an impact on many smaller employers as well as larger companies, it is of vital importance that the future workforce understands how to make essential financial decisions, particularly when it comes to saving for a pension.”

Chris Hitchen, Chief Executive of RPMI, added: 
“It is critical that the next generation of UK employees has a firm grasp of their own personal financial circumstances and that they recognise the importance of savings in general, and particularly through pensions.

“Many UK households have experienced financial hardship since the 2008 economic crisis, and RPMI strongly supports any business-backed or government initiatives to further educate school-leavers and students so that they are well-prepared for the future.”