Staff increasingly see pensions as the best way to save for retirement and as the most important employee benefit employers can offer. But they have become less confident their pension will deliver, pensions experts said today.
Research by the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) revealed that 44% of employees said pensions were the best way to save for retirement.
This was a marked rise from 35% this time last year, and was more than twice the number who cited property as best (20%) and almost four times the amount who chose ISAs (12%).
Meanwhile four out of ten (41%) thought pensions are the most important employee benefit - an increase on 31% last year. A bonus and flexible working were joint second at 17%.
Joanne Segars, NAPF Chief Executive, said:
“As we emerge from the recession, people are able to take a longer-term view on saving, and are showing more interest in workplace pensions.
Sluggish property growth and weak interest rates have also helped raise pension awareness.
“The UK is facing a crisis in saving for its old age, so it’s encouraging that growing numbers see the importance of a workplace pension. Ahead of the introduction of auto-enrolment into pensions in 2012, this bodes well.”
But despite this positive shift in attitudes, only a third (35%) said they were confident their pension will give them enough to live on in retirement.
And the survey’s Pension Confidence Index stood at +5%, down from +11% a year ago. Less than half of respondents (48%) said they were confident about pensions, while 43% said they were not. *
Ms Segars added:
“The erosion of confidence in pensions is a real concern. Without a greater belief that saving in a pension will result in a more comfortable old age, we will struggle to persuade people to save for their retirement.
“We need a simpler state pension that provides a solid foundation of basic retirement income and which lifts people off means-testing to ensure that people keep what they save. That would be a major step forward in restoring confidence in pensions.”
Notes to Editors
1. Joanne Segars is available for interview.
2. The NAPF Workplace Pensions Survey 2010 was carried out with pollster Populus between 24 and 26 September 2010. It surveyed 984 individuals.
3. (*)The Pension Confidence Index is the difference between the number of respondents who are confident about pensions and those who are not.
The NAPF is the leading voice of workplace pensions in the UK. We speak for 1,200 pension schemes with some 15 million members and assets of around £800 billion. NAPF members also include over 400 businesses providing essential services to the pensions sector.
Paul Platt, Head of Media and PR, NAPF, 020 7601 1717 or 07917 506 683, [email protected]
Christian Zarro, Press Officer, NAPF, 020 7601 1718 or 07825 171 446, [email protected]