Even though employees will find themselves automatically enrolled in a government pension plan, with the money taken directly from their pay cheques in three weeks’ time, a survey by Scottish Widows has found that over half of workers are not aware that the changes are taking place.
What is even more worrying is that the biggest proportion of people unaware of the changes were those earning less than £20,000 per annum, the group that the changes are supposed to benefit most.
Most of those who did know about the scheme only did so because they had heard about it through the media, rather than via their employer.
The Department for Work and Pensions has already commented on these results, saying “We will boost awareness of automatic enrolment with our national campaign which includes television advertising from later this month.
While the launch is in October, we are bringing the reforms in gradually over the next five years, so it’s understandable that some people will not be aware of the changes. The Pensions Regulator is working with employers to make sure they have the information they need to explain the benefits of workplace pensions to their staff.”
People have become more aware in recent years that they need to begin saving more for their retirement and start doing it earlier, but pensions experts say that people are still not willing to set enough aside each month to ensure that they will be able to maintain a decent standard of living in their old age.
Of course, with so many problems hitting pension funds recently, it’s unsurprising that people don’t know what they should be doing with their money to guarantee their future. That is another of the issues that this government project intends to help with, but as the recent survey shows, people don’t appear to be aware of its existence either.