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Half of workers confused by pensions lingo

Half of employees (50%) find pensions-related terminology ‘complicated and confusing’, according to research from Capita Employee Benefits.

More than four in 10 (45%) respondents said they would be willing to save more into a pension if they had a better idea of how they worked, and more than half (52%) did not know how much they should be saving for retirement.

The report, Capita’s annual Employee Insight Report, found that 33% of employees are worried that they will not be able to support themselves when they retire.

However, of those only 14% said that saving for retirement was one of their main financial priorities. The top priority for this group of workers is to save for a holiday or go travelling (26%).

The researchers also found that employees are underestimating their life expectancy. For example, only 2.3% of respondents expect to reach the age of 100, compared to the probability of 13.7%.

Despite the recent changes to pension schemes, only 7% of over 55s in a scheme said that they have changed their retirement plans as a result of the new freedoms.

Capita Employee Benefits head of marketing and research Robin Hames said that employees face a "demanding and complex" choice when it comes to pensions.

"With the majority of pension scheme members now in a DC (defined contribution) plan, without early guidance there is a distinct danger the next generation of employees will reach their 60s with inadequate pension provision," he said. "They will not be able to afford to retire and many will want or need to work on into their 70s.

"With protection against age discrimination, employers will face challenges to their workforce management and HR may be left with the invidious task of performance managing long-service employees to create the necessary flow through the workforce."
He added: "It is essential therefore that employers understand the fine line between education and advice, or engage specialists who do, to deliver a programme of effective financial education.”