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21 October 2015

The DWP has launched a blue, cuddly, £8.45m mascot for workplace pensions

Meet “workie”. 

By Barbara Speed

A blue fluffy monster invaded the Department for Work and Pensions Twitter feed today. It stuck its head into its profile picture, and appeared in a series of toe-curling memes, including this one:

Far from a rejected character from Monsters, Inc., the monster is at the centre of a new advertising campaign to be launched by the DWP this evening. According to the campaign’s press release, “Workie, a striking physical embodiment of the workplace pension” will “change the country’s perception of pensions in the workplace”.

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The first TV ad will be shown at 7:27pm this evening, between Emmerdale and Coronation Street. For those who just can’t wait, it’s already available on YouTube:

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Pensions Minister Baroness Altman said the campaign, accompanied by the hashtag #DontForgetIt, hopes to raise awareness of workplace pensions, which by law must be introduced by all UK employers over the next three years:

This is a fun and quirky campaign but behind it lies a very serious message. We need everyone to know they are entitled to a workplace pension – and we need all employers to understand their legal responsibility to their staff, but also to feel more positive about engaging with workplace pensions.

The “fun” campaign also came with a steep price tag: the DWP confirmed earlier today that it set the department back £8.45m. Luckily, savings from slashing Independent Living Fund alone would easily have covered the cost.