66% of individuals say pensions are far too complicated

  • Low employee engagement rates remain a critical concern

Getting employees more engaged with their pensions remains a critical issue for businesses. Recent research[1] from Cushon, the workplace savings and investment platform, found that one of the biggest reasons for this is that pensions are far too complicated, with 66% of individuals stating this as a key factor.

The same survey also found that 34% of HR managers see low employee engagement levels as a challenge and 68% believe that it is mainly younger employees who are not engaged with pensions. Auto enrollment has solved the issue of getting more people to have a pension, but it has done little to resolve low engagement rates.

The research also found that one in three (34%) said that it is a challenge to get employees to contribute above the minimum contribution rates and nearly two-thirds (65.2%) of respondents believe that pension providers aren’t doing enough to introduce new and progressive products. In fact, because of this, over half (54.4%) of employers are planning to carry out a review of their pension provider in the next six months.

Steve Watson, head of proposition, Cushon, said: “Auto-enrollment has done a great job of ensuring all workers have a pension, but over the years other rules and regulations have made pensions far more complicated than they need to be which is deeply affecting the level of engagement.

“The reality is that younger workers are not making saving for retirement a high priority. And why would they when they are more concerned about getting on the housing ladder or saving to get married or start a family? Taking a dual-approach to pensions and savings is becoming much more popular – offering employers accessible savings that they can contribute to alongside a pension to pay for life’s journey.

“We know from our clients that the industry is crying out for more innovation to help employees take more of an interest in their pensions and savings. We’re using our technology to make pensions more straight forward and easy to use and ultimately more engaging.”

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The research takes into consideration the views from 250 HR professionals working in businesses with a workforce of 300+ employees.

[1] Cushon Pension Research:  a need for real change – November 2019