The Brexit vote will scare workers into saving for retirement

Oliver Gill
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Fear can be a great catalyst. Uncertainty will prompt more saving according to a poll of businesses (Source: Getty)

Britain's decision to leave the EU will boost pension savings as concerns over future financial uncertainty provide a catalyst for workers to put more money aside for their retirement.

Nearly half of businesses polled by Close Brothers believe the Brexit vote will increase employee engagement in retirement planning and over one in four employers expect staff to increase their pension scheme contributions.

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"More than ever, businesses that are proactive and take steps to quell uncertainty and provide their staff with the tools to take control of their financial future by supporting staff in their retirement planning and engaging all staff to reap the benefits," said the FTSE 250 group's head of financial education services Jeanette Makings.

Only nine per cent of businesses polled felt the Brexit vote would have no impact on the saving plans of staff.

Experts remain concerned of a generational savings timebomb as Britain's workers become less dependent on final salary pension schemes and more reliant on their own savings for retirement.

Makings added Britain's businesses should capitalise on staff concerns about future financial instability and use the Brexit vote to encourage more saving. "With any significant market or legislation changes, employers are in a great position to raise awareness," she said.

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The news of positive savings comes as the aggregate pension deficits of Britain's largest listed companies narrowed. The Brexit vote prompted fears for interest rate cuts and led to collapsing bond yields. As a result, pension scheme liabilities grew at a much faster rate than the increasing in the value of assets.

But according to actuarial experts at Mercer the aggregate deficits of the FTSE 350 fell by a whopping £22bn during November to £127bn.

“The increase in corporate bond yields over the month has resulted in the largest monthly fall in liability values since June 2015. said Ali Tayyebi," a senior partner at Mercer.

Read more: Defined benefit pension hole deepens to over £380bn following Brexit vote

Mercer colleague Le Roy van Zyl said the key players in corporate pension schemes may want to act now:

"Questions trustees and sponsors should be asking themselves are whether this is the time to take off some of the risk which has recently been rewarded, and whether they are comfortable that they can deal with the range of scenarios that can emerge in the months and years to come.”

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