Workplace pension schemes are being swept under the rug by some of the UK’s most prominent businesses; the latest survey from the financial wellbeing company Mintago has found.
A new survey has revealed how 365 senior decision-makers within leading UK businesses are managing their employee benefit schemes. It found that the majority of UK businesses are failing to offer employees adequate support to help them better understand their workplace pensions, new research from Mintago has revealed.
The research highlights how 60 per cent of decision-makers do not think their organisation provides enough support to help employees understand the full scale of their workplace pension scheme, whilst almost half (48 per cent) reported there to be little to no internal discussion around employees’ pensions or about the specific scheme they offer.
Thirty-six per cent of UK managers said their business uses autoenrollment without providing any further pension guidance to employees. “The UK’s pension engagement gap is widening at a worrying rate, leaving many financially unprepared for retirement,” explains Mintago CEO Chieu Cao. “As such, simply providing an auto-enrolment pension scheme is not enough. Businesses must take on a more active role in increasing employee pension engagement.”
In relation to this, the data found that a mere 35 per cent spend time speaking with employees, explaining which scheme might best suit their needs. In addition, 43 per cent regularly review and evaluate their employee benefits strategy.
Twenty-eight per cent of UK managers claim that their business prioritises workplace benefits such as free food and drink in the office, gym memberships or socials above workplace pension schemes.
“It is vital that organisations regularly review their benefits and workplace pension scheme to ensure they are meeting the needs of their employees,” continues Cao. “Simple steps such as speaking directly with employees regarding their preferred benefits and improving access to workplace pension information would be a strong start. So too would exploring the various ways in which they might improve pension engagement – such as exploring the prospect of the Salary Sacrifice Pension Scheme.
“As an employer, it can appear to be an overwhelming task, but progress is possible. Through consultancy and internal review, employers can provide the right tools to help employees better understand their retirement finances now. In doing so, organisations will gradually help to build a more financially engaged – and consequently more satisfied – workforce.”
On a similar note, a study by Penfold highlighted how, from a study of 2,000 people, 65 per cent feel anxious, confused, overwhelmed, or stressed at the prospect of locating and accessing their pension pots as they near the age of retirement. Staggeringly, the data suggests that just 24 per cent of over 55s could pursue this task with confidence.