Pensions  

Half of workers 'unaware' of pension saving

Half of workers 'unaware' of pension saving

Warning bells have once again been sounded over pension engagement after research suggested more than half of UK workers were unaware they were saving into an occupational scheme. 

A survey of 2,000 adults published by pension administrator EQ today (December 8) found 48 per cent of full-time workers thought they were saving into a pension.

The figures are despite recent data from the Office for National Statistics showing almost nine in 10 eligible employees were now making contributions into a scheme. 

Duncan Watson, chief executive of EQ’s pension arm, warned the results demonstrated a need for "greater pension saver engagement" to cement the success of auto-enrolment in increasing the number of people saving for later-life.

Mr Watson added: "Auto-enrolment has revolutionised pension saving for millions of Brits who are now participating in their workplace scheme due to the opt-out system now in place.

"It is evident, however, that pension saving is still not on the radar of many people, even if they are actually making contributions to their retirement fund." 

Data from the ONS last month found untouched pension wealth in defined contribution schemes had surged to £291bn as savers were urged to check whether they were losing money through dormant pots. 

The £291bn of preserved capital was for the years between 2016 and 2018, almost double the £139bn between 2012 to 2014 when auto-enrolment had just been introduced.

The number of UK employees in workplace pension schemes reached a record high last year, but the issue of pension losses has been high on the agenda of the financial regulator since the coronavirus pandemic hit in March. 

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

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