Two thirds of UK workers auto-enrolled, but coverage uneven

A recent survey has shown that whilst a third of workers have now been auto-enrolled, coverage across the country is fragmented, with many still not understanding pensions.

The YouGov poll of over 2,000 employees found that auto-enrolment (AE) has resulted in 36 per cent of UK workers eligible for AE are saving into company pension funds. Whilst the Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures show that the number of active members of occupational schemes is around 11.1 million, the same record number recorded in 1983.

Countrywide coverage of those auto-enrolled is however uneven, with 76 per cent of workers in Greater Manchester and Bradford having been offered a pension, but just 59 per cent in Cardiff, a mere 51 per cent in London and 17 per cent having no pension at all.

There was also a severe lack of understanding of pensions, with 38 per cent being unaware that their own contributions were less than the collective contributions from government and employer, and 58 per cent of young people not even knowing what AE is. A further poll by Opinium of 1,000 UK adults showed that 71 per cent of 18 to 30 year olds found pension terminology and jargon a barrier to understanding the subject of pensions.

We are urging clients to make sure that they speak to a pensions adviser as soon as possible. They will review your existing employee benefits offering and, if necessary, implement new schemes for the benefit of your staff. We have specialist advisers who are able to assist. Please contact Matthew Burge or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner.

Further reading: Auto-Enrolment – Your Questions Answered