Only 26% of UK respondents confident about DC pension savings

Around a quarter (26%) of UK respondents feel confident that they will have enough saved through their employer’s defined contribution (DC) pension scheme to afford the lifestyle they want in retirement, according to research by State Street Global Investors (SSGA).


Its research surveyed more than 2,000 respondents aged between 22 and 65 in Ireland, the UK and the US, who participate in a DC pension scheme through their employer.

It found that 31% of US respondents and 17% of Irish respondents feel confident about their DC savings.

Only 22% of respondents rated themselves as ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ knowledgeable about financial matters, such as savings and investments.

More than a quarter (27%) of US respondents, 15% of UK respondents and 10% of Irish respondents said they would take ‘somewhat high-risk’ or ‘high-risk’ investments in order to receive better returns.

Across all regions, at least one in five pension members seek help or advice about their employer-sponsored retirement plans from websites, advisors, online tools or their employer.

The bulk of respondents across the US, UK and Ireland find retirement planning information from websites, advisors and financial publications most useful, ahead of guidance from the government and their employer.

Nigel Aston (pictured), managing director and head of UK DC at SSGA, said: “The latest DC survey highlights yet again that DC members principally view themselves as savers, not investors.

“Understanding this mindset is critical for providing the right kind of support to encourage increased contributions in workplace DC plans.

“We’re seeing consistently high levels of discomfort around market volatility, so it is more important than ever to ensure that pension plans offer investments that address this concern.

Default strategies that balance risk and return can help increase the effectiveness of long-term saving efforts.”

Fredrik Axsater, managing director and global head of DC at SSGA, added: “Many of our multinational [employer] clients are interested in aligning retirement plans across geographies.

“They are looking for research and ideas to help them build the best possible pension plans for their global employee network, while operating within a unique regulatory environment specific to their region.

“SSGA is positioned to help [employers] find a consistent, practical approach to plan design and participant engagement.”