More than half of the working population is still unaware of the government's automatic enrolment programme, just three weeks before its launch, a report has found.
Scottish Widows' Workplace Pensions Report 2012 found 52% of employees are completely ignorant of the changes, which will eventually see all qualifying workers enrolled in a workplace pension saving scheme - unless they opt-out.
However, the report did find the amount people are willing to contribute to a pension had doubled since last year. It found people would be happy to put about £77 a month away, compared to about £38 previously.
Although the firm warned this would still not result in a comfortable retirement.The report found the ‘alarming' lack of awareness was particularly prevalent in the programme's target market - people earning under £20,000. A third of these lower paid workers were aware of the changes.
Lynn Graves, head of business development for corporate pensions, said the figures were "shocking".
"Auto-enrolment is designed for people who traditionally don't have access to a workplace pension scheme, such as smaller employers or those with lower incomes, and it is clear that information is still not reaching the audience it's intended to target. Educating these employees needs to be a top priority for the industry and the government."
Some 74% of workers polled thought their bosses should provide them with either full financial advice or information about retirement planning.
Face-to-face advice was the most desired, followed by personal financial health checks, information guides and financial calculators and tools.
Scottish Widows said access to an online workplace savings platform and the services of an expert adviser "would help increased education and understanding of savings, and help employees plan better for their retirement".
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