Less than half of employers provide at-retirement support for staff, according to research by Close Brothers Asset Management.
Its study of 218 UK employers also found that the most popular way of supporting employees at retirement is through workplace seminars (26%), while 23% of respondents provide access to information via the intranet.
“For many employers, particularly those with workforces of less than 2,000, providing advice at or around retirement age has been one commitment or spend too many recently. And with contract-based pensions (group personal pensions), the onus was perceived as more on the employee than the employer.
This is now changing, and there is a marked increase of interest as employers realise that both the abolition of the default retirement age and the freedom of pension proposals may impact their employee demographics, succession planning, and engagement levels.”
Steve Herbert, head of benefits strategy, Jelf Group
“Until the pension freedom proposals, the only real advice needed was for defined contribution (DC) pension members to look at an open market option. Defined benefit (DB) members were spared this problem. Now, we have a whole load of people who will need advice but unfortunately most will not have enough money to make it worthwhile for an adviser to get involved.”
Laurence Power, technical consultant, Gerali Employee Benefits
“I wonder if employers would be better to offer advice at regular times during their employees’ careers so they can maximise their pensions. This could be offered at their employees’ landmark birthdays of 30,40 and 50. Giving employees a better understanding of pensions would be the best knowledge that any employee-centric employer could offer. Employees need to know how to make sound investment decisions.”
Robert Holman, group pension manager, MH Alshaya