Workers unaware of pensions reform

Office workerAlmost seven out of 10 private sector workers know little or nothing about the Government's landmark drive to place people into pension schemes automatically, just months ahead of its launch, a report has suggested.

The "consumer awareness gap" must be tackled if automatic enrolment is to gain momentum, the Aviva Working Lives report argued.
Some 68% of private sector employees said they know either a small amount or have no knowledge at all about the plans, compared with 70% of employers who are aware of the reforms.

Up to 10 million people will be placed into schemes from this autumn, beginning with larger companies, under the Government's plans to tackle the pension savings crisis.

But the report said employers face a "significant challenge" in helping to transform the pensions system in the midst of a tough economy.

The report said that despite the high level of awareness among employers, 11% who said they have heard of the new rules have not made any plans and 27% had not started discussing the legislative implications.

Employees tended to be generally happy with their work, with 27% saying they really enjoy it and 45% saying they quite enjoy it.

Despite their general job satisfaction, more than half of employees were concerned about how their pay compares with the high living costs which have squeezed household budgets, while over a third were worried about job security.

Aviva's managing director of corporate benefits Graham Boffey said: "Britain's employers are facing the significant challenge of transforming the way they provide pensions and workplace benefits at a time of continuing economic uncertainty.

"When the first companies start to automatically enrol their employees in October this year, we can't expect an immediate step-change in how people save for their retirement - employers and the industry will need to make a long-term commitment to ensuring it's a success."
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