Pensions  

Savers struggle to talk to employer about financial wellbeing

Savers struggle to talk to employer about financial wellbeing

Younger employees are more willing to speak to their employer about financial concerns while three quarters of employees (73 per cent) have never spoken to their employer about financial wellbeing.

According to Aviva’s 2022 Working Lives report, those aged 25-34 were most likely to raise concerns with their employer, followed closely by those aged 18-24.

Most likely to talk about financial wellbeing with employer or line manager, by age group

1

25-34

39%

2

18-24

31%

3

35-44

28%

4

65+

26%

5

55-64

17%

6

45-54

12%

Aviva’s director of workplace savings and retirement, Emma Douglas said that speaking about money is one of the last workplace taboos and, while she is glad to see younger people break down the stigma, it's important all generations feel they can speak about money at work.

“One of the areas that employers can offer important support is retirement savings. Pensions are designed to be a long-term investment and any decisions made today will echo throughout a person’s retirement,” she said. 

The report showed that employees are most likely to trust their own research on pensions and long-term savings (26 per cent), followed by their pension scheme provider (19 per cent) and then their employer (15 per cent).

Aviva said that the findings suggest an indifference by some employees to their pensions, as almost one in five (17 per cent) of those eligible to join a workplace pension do not know what proportion of their salary is paid into it.

The report also showed that only 19 percent of employees feel they will be able to retire comfortably with their workplace pension while over a third (34 per cent) feel it will simply not be enough.

Douglas said this highlights the need for greater discussion about financial wellbeing in the workplace. He said “It is a shame that so many people who have a workplace pension and are worried about not being able to retire comfortably have never spoken to their manager about their concerns.

“This is an unusually tough time for people and the extent of financial hardship will be unique for everyone. It is more important than ever that employers encourage their people to talk to them about money worries, and employees take-up any financial education or guidance their employer is able to offer.”

Aviva is launching an ‘Increased Cost of Living’ seminar for the employees of its workplace pension clients, aiming to provide information on budgeting, saving money on household bills, understanding debt and money problems and mental health. 

The pension provider has also advised employers to speak to their employees about their financial concerns by scheduling a confidential meeting with their manager and to seek out financial education and wellness programmes. 

Offering advice to employers, Aviva has said they should check that their workplace induction covers workplace pensions for new joiners and embrace technology in the form of apps offered by their pension provider. 

In June, the Department for Work & Pensions published a call for evidence to explore what support members of pension schemes need to make informed decisions about their savings.