Most workers unaware of automatic pensions

Tim Wallace
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MILLIONS of British workers do not realise they are about to be automatically enrolled into pension schemes, according to a Scottish Widows study out today.

Within the next month staff at the largest UK firms will be automatically put into a pension scheme, unless they opt out – yet 52 per cent of workers, or almost 10m people, are unaware of the impending change, which will see their take-home pay hit as they are compelled to save more.

And earners on lower wages are the least knowledgable about the changes, with just a third of those on less than £20,000 a year reporting awareness.

However, most employees are keen to save more for a pension. Only 11 per cent plan to opt out of the scheme, while 74 per cent believe they will have to take more personal responsibility for their retirement finances in the coming years.

And staff now say they are willing to pay £76.95 per month into their pensions, double the £37.50 reported a year ago.

But despite this higher level, 33 per cent of people fear it will not provide an acceptable standard of living in retirement.

“It is clear from our research that people are failing to save enough for their future especially in relation to retirement,” said Scottish Widows’ Lynn Graves.

“While it is a positive sign that people are willing to pay more into their workplace pension, substantial work must still be done to encourage people to save enough for retirement and this is a challenge for government, the pensions industry and employers. As a nation we are slowly waking up to the reality of how we are going to be able to fund our retirement.”