Nine out of 10 employers see pension as effective recruitment and retention tool, says research

Nearly nine out of 10 employers see a pension as an effective recruitment and retention tool, though only 7% have carried out a formal assessment to confirm this, according to a survey published today by actuarial firm Punter Southall.

In one of the biggest surveys of opinion among UK employers with defined contribution (DC) pensions, it also revealed that, while 59% of companies still operate final salary schemes, only 5% offer membership to new employees and 94% have a DC scheme as the main scheme open to new entrants.

The survey also shows that three-quarters (75%) of respondents believe they share a responsibility towards their employees’ financial education, and while 48% do nothing to re-promote the pensions scheme to employees who have not previously joined, this figure is significantly down on last year (57%).

While 86% of respondents expect a change of government at the forthcoming election, most (57%) believe such a change would have little impact on pensions, and only 13% think it would have a positive impact.†

There appears to be wide-scale disenchantment with government interference in pensions, with one respondent urging government to “stop mucking about with pensions legislation”.

Damian Stancombe, head of corporate defined contribution at Punter Southall, said: “Social, economic and political pressures are influencing corporate pension provision and giving rise to considerable concern among UK employers.†

“Despite these concerns, employers still value pensions as a recruitment and retention tool as a vital part of their benefits package.†

“The overwhelming importance placed by employers on contributions, investment and communication reinforces the need for thorough and effective governance of DC schemes to ensure the interests of both employers and employees are protected.”

For more stories on occupational pensions