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Freedom of pensions proposals ignored by employers

Seven in 10 employers have not informed staff about changes in freedom of pension proposals that come into force in April.

A survey of 250 employers, carried out by Jelf Employee Benefits, found only 7% have reviewed their pension policies and communicated changes to staff.

This has led to concerns that workers may not understand how their savings are affected.

The new proposals allow savers to withdraw money from their pensions when they choose and 25% of any amount withdrawn will be tax-free.

Steve Herbert, head of benefits strategy at Jelf Employee Benefits, said both employees and employers need better education on the changes.

“This is probably the biggest single change to the pensions landscape in a lifetime – and is supposedly driven by the desire of savers to have much greater access to and flexibility regarding their retirement savings. Yet awareness of this issue currently seems frighteningly low,” he said.

The research also found that 63% of employers are supportive of the proposals.

“Our survey suggests that the proposals are broadly being welcomed, but it is really important that employers review their offering and communicate the changes to their workforces,” Herbert added.

“And with only three months remaining until full implementation, the time for action is now.”