One in five employees without alternative pension savings are likely to opt out of personal accounts, two thirds of attendees at Watson Wyatt's latest debating forum believe.
Some 12% of the 35 financial services experts polled at the event though less than one in 10 employees would opt out of the national pension savings scheme, while 36% thought it would be less than one in five.
While 28% thought more that two out of five employees would opt out, and 12% thought more than half would.
Attendees voted on the proposition that "personal accounts will be detrimental to the overall levels of saving for retirement by the UK population".
Proposing the motion were Prudential corporate solutions managing director Steven Haasz and Friends Provident UK corporate business director James Ward.
The opposers were AXA head of pensions and savings policy Steve Folkard and Personal Accounts Delivery Authority head of product and scheme promotion Paul Gilbody.
Before the debate, 15% of the audience were in favour of the motion and 85% against. After a lively debate, this changed to 36% in favour and 64% against.
Watson Wyatt head of insurance & financial services team Colette Dunn said: "It is encouraging that our audience of experts do not believe personal accounts are going to undermine retirement savings, albeit more leant in that direction after the arguments put forward.
"But there appear to be strong concerns that many people for whom personal accounts are designed will decide not to take part. Introducing funds with guarantees was a popular option at the debate for enhancing the prospects of personal accounts, however this on its own, was not a panacea for the audience's concerns.
"A range of refinements to the current plans, reinforced by effective communication initiatives to highlight the stark alternatives to not saving for retirement, may well be needed."IFAonline
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