Generation AE Research Consortium

Generation AE Research Consortium

Automatic enrolment (AE) was introduced in 2012 and requires every employer in the UK to put their employees into a pension scheme and contribute towards it. Since the introduction of auto enrolment, 9 million savers have been auto enrolled. By 2020 it is anticipated that this number will increase by another 1 million new savers and £17 billion a year is projected to be saved into workplace pensions. 

Regardless of future changes, a cohort of individuals new to pension savings has emerged as a result of Automatic Enrolment: Generation AE. Their actions will shape the future of pension saving in the UK. With so much change over the last five years there has not yet been an opportunity for the pensions industry to undertake a cohesive assessment of the wants and needs of this new cohort of savers. 

About the consortium

The PLSA has set up a Research Consortium made up of some of the largest DC providers in the UK (Legal & General, NEST, NOW: Pensions, Royal Bank of Scotland, The People’s Pension and Whitbread), to undertake a collaborative, insightful research programme around Generation AE pension schemes. 

The first year of the programme (2018) focusses on understanding Generation AE and their attitudes, experience and needs of pension saving and has a number of key objectives: 

  • To examine the composition of Generation AE. 
  • To understand the attitudes of Generation AE to pre-retirement life, later life and to pension saving. 
  • To explore Generation AE understanding of the concept of AE. 
  • To examine what would make higher contributions acceptable to employees and what messages/communications could be used to encourage employees to save more/ make pensions more understandable. 

We have commissioned ICM Unlimited to conduct the three stages of the research: 

  • Stage 1: A literature review will gather the existing evidence in relation to Generation AE in order to shape both the focus groups and quant survey.
  • Stage 2: Focus groups with Generation AE to examine attitudes towards pension saving and AE.
  • Stage 3: An online survey of Generation AE. 

The results from the research will be published at the end of 2018.