Less than half of employers provide at-retirement support

Jeanette Makings

Less than half (45%) of respondents provide staff with support at retirement, 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. 

Meanwhile, 18% provide access to an annuity service provider via the organisation’s pension provider, while a further 9% offer access via another provider, and 17% provide access to financial advice.

The survey also found:

  • 49% of respondents see at-retirement support as part of their employee value proposition, and 43% stated it helps with staff engagement.
  • Workplace support for those at retirement is set to rise in response to the government’s pensions reforms.
  • 27% of respondents will refer employees to the government’s guarantee scheme, while 10% have recently put in place financial education for employees at retirement.
  • 36% expect the workplace provision of at-retirement support to become more widespread.
  • 11% have recently introduced financial education for all staff, with a further 10% having introduced this specifically for staff approaching retirement.
  • Pharmaceutical organisations currently have the best at-retirement provision for their staff with 57% offering some form of support.
  • 56% of manufacturing organisations provide support, compared to 44% of professional services employers.

The new pensions flexibilities announced in the 2014 Budget have already caused many employers to adapt their financial education provision for employees. The research found that 27% of employers will refer employees to the government’s guidance scheme, while 15% have made changes to incorporate at-retirement guidance into their pension communications.

Jeanette Makings (pictured), head of financial education services at Close Brothers Asset Management, said: “Many employers already see the benefit of financially educating their staff, and have provision in place.

“However, these increased freedoms and choices available to employees approaching retirement have focused employers on the need to review the level of support they provide.

“Steps such as updating communication strategies to employees is straightforward enough, but for many [employers], the change provides an opportunity to build a more comprehensive programme of education to boost staff engagement and retention.”