Most employees will not opt-out when auto-enrolled

Nearly three-quarters (70%) of respondents are likely to stay in a pension scheme once they have been auto-enrolled, according to research by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Its Attitudes to pensions: the 2013 survey, which polled 1,949 UK adults, also found that almost two-thirds (59%) do not feel they know enough about pensions to decide with confidence how to save for retirement.

Two-fifths (41%) of respondents with a private pension have no knowledge of what their income will be in retirement. This rises to four-fifths (79%) among those who do not have a private pension.

The research also found:

  • 19% of respondents with no pension provision gave the excuse that it is too early to start.
  • Among young people aged 18 to 24, 39% said they actively avoid thinking about retirement altogether.
  • 71% of female respondents said they found pensions complex, and 28% admitted they are scared of dealing with them.
  • Fear of not having enough in retirement is the key reason people gave for saving into a pension (32%), followed closely by qualifying to join a company scheme (28%).

Steve Webb (pictured), minister for pensions, said: “Automatic-enrolment is helping millions to save for the first time and this survey shows most people will stay in when they are offered the chance to save in a pension.

“The simple fact of being offered a company pension is a clear driver to helping people save.

“However, too many people are put off saving for their old age by a pensions system that is too complex, and too few know clearly what they will get when they retire.

“We are taking the hassle out of saving in a pension through automatic-enrolment, we are working with the industry to restore trust and confidence in pensions, and we will reform the state pension to make it simpler and clearer to understand.”