Employees’ faith in company pensions improves

Pensions expert Tom Barton, an associate at Pinsent Masons, gives his view of the NAPF survey and what employers should take from it.

Employee confidence in workplace pensions is recovering, according to research by The National Association of Pension Funds.

A study of nearly 1,500 employees found that confidence had strongly improved since the end of last year, when the economy went into recession.

The NAPF’s Pensions Confidence Index – which measures the difference between those employees confident and not confident about pensions – found that confidence stood at +11% at the end of September this year.

This was up from +7% in March and its low point of +1% at the end of 2008.

The study revealed that pensions remain a priority for employees, despite the recession and the additional pressures on people’s finances.

Nearly 40% rate pensions better than any other form of savings for retirement, including property, and more than 80% say they will continue to save into a pension at work, while 7% will increase their contributions.

The study also found that pensions continue to be the most popular employee benefit, beating bonuses, flexible working and generous holiday allowances.

NAPF chief executive Joanne Segars said: “These are really positive and welcome findings, and show just how much workplace pensions matter to people.

“At our conference this week we will send a very clear message to politicians that they need to take pensions seriously. Without good quality workplace pensions, millions of people would be worse off in retirement.

She added: “We need long-term commitment and measures from whichever government is in power after the general election to create an environment where it is easier for employers to provide pensions and for employees to save into them.”

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