Some 77% of employees know little about the value of their occupational pension scheme even though t...
Some 77% of employees know little about the value of their occupational pension scheme even though they are members of it, according to research by Barclays Global Investors.
In a survey carried out on behalf of the Pre-Retirement Association (PRA) researchers found a widespread indifference to financial services partly because of perceived complexity and partly due to dependence on the welfare state.
The most valued sources of information about financial matters were those involving personal contact. Either family, a company adviser or IFAs if they were introduced via personal recommendation or employed by the company to advise employees.
Alan Bennet, who chaired the PRA working party, said: "There seems to be no substitute for face to face communication when it comes to pensions. Any written correspondence will generally be dealt with at a later date."
Bennet added that expectations of future state provisions were very limited with most participants feeling they could not rely on external forces to provide for their needs, but many had done little to take control of their financial affairs.
The research was conducted among 1,000 employees ranging from ages 20 to 50 and covering a variety of job positions in firms the PRA judged to provide significant retirement and other benefits.
Some 43% of those surveyed did not know how much they had to contribute to their employer's plan while most joined because they were advised to do so by their company, a colleague or family.
A further 71% were not contributing beyond the minimum and although companies reported that employees were initially reluctant to attend discussions on pensions, those who attended felt it had been a useful exercise.
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