Employers need to do more to inform employees unaware of auto-enrolment Scottish Widows research shows.
The company's Workplace Pensions Report 2012 has revealed 52% of employees have no knowledge of the new legislation.
This is in the face of auto-enrolment, which will affect nearly 19 million workers, being rolled out from next month.
The research showed awareness is particularly poor among the scheme's target audience. Only a third of employees on an income of under £20,000 pa were aware of the changes.
Scottish Widows head of business development, corporate pensions, Lynn Graves said: "With just three weeks to go until auto-enrolment comes into force, it is shocking that there remains such a huge gap in awareness, and that the media has had to step in to play a pivotal role in educating people about these changes."
She added that employees of larger companies are more knowledgeable than their counterparts at smaller firms.
Nearly three-quarters (74%) of the 5,200 respondents said their employer should provide either full financial advice or general information about retirement planning.
Graves said: "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."
However, those who were aware of auto-enrolment were overwhelmingly in favour of it. Only 11% plan to opt out of auto-enrolment with 32% of them citing affordability as the reason.
Graves said this was a "positive" result although she admitted a portion of the employees uncertain about auto-enrolment could still withdraw from the scheme.
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