Bosses should educate staff on AE pension ‘journey’ – Hargreaves

Bosses should educate staff on AE pension ‘journey’ – Hargreaves

Workplace financial education is needed to help people make the right choices, Nathan Long of Hargreaves Lansdown has said.

The head of corporate pension research at the Bristol-based firm said there is a gap between the government’s pension reforms, which rely on people being engaged with their savings, and the auto-enrolment scheme, which relies on inertia.

He said: “The key is to help staff take an interest after they have been auto-enrolled, in order to make decisions early on in their pension journey.

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“Feedback from employees continues to reinforce our belief that financial education acts as the perfect solution.

“The greater the understanding, the greater the confidence – which can only improve the chance of a better retirement.”

According to Hargreaves Lansdown’s research, 40 per cent of employers are looking to introduce financial education.

Meanwhile, employees who have received financial education, 77 per cent say they are more likely to consider increasing their pension contributions.

The government’s older workers’ business champion Ros Altmann said: “The guidance coming just at retirement is the right place to start but it is not where we need to finish.

“I would like to see that this guidance is embedded in auto-enrolment and every scheme offering information. For me it is equally important as caps on fees. We have to get people to engage. The days when you trust the company to look after your pension for you are gone.”

Adviser view

Vikki Barringer, director of Dorset-based Kingston PTM, said: “Personal responsibility for your finances should begin a lot earlier and it needs to be taught in school.

“But nobody wants to think about pensions because it is boring.”