71% rely on employer’s pension plan for retirement

Nearly three-quarters (71%) of respondents rely on their employer’s pension plan as their primary way to save for retirement, according to research by Towers Watson.


Its Global benefits attitudes survey, which questioned 2,030 UK employees, found that more than half (53%) of respondents admitted they need to save much more for their retirement.

More than three-quarters (78%) are concerned they are not saving as much as they should be for retirement.

Consequently, almost a quarter (23%) expect to work to age 70 or above, a 10% increase since 2010.

The research also found that 58% of respondents are not confident they will be able to afford a long retirement of around 25 years, and only 36% think they will be better off in retirement than their parents.

The research also found:

  • 34% of respondents recognise that they need to save for retirement as one of their top financial priorities.
  • 14% of respondents use mobile applications or websites to track their retirement savings.
  • 46% of respondents said retirement security has become a bigger issue in the last few years.
  • 52% of respondents have simplified their lifestyle and cut back on spending in recent years.

John Ball (pictured), head of UK pensions at Towers Watson, said: “Many workers recognise the need to save more but their ability to do so seems constrained.

“Our research highlights that retirement security is becoming an increasingly important issue for most employees, especially those approaching retirement.

“While individuals need to manage their own financial wellbeing, most employees rely on their employer’s pension plan as their primary way to save for their retirement. 

“Employers do believe they have a role in enabling their staff to retire, but that’s not quite the same thing as ensuring their staff will be able to.

“It’s great to see employees recognise that there are tools available to help them plan ahead.

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“In his 2014 Budget, the Chancellor announced new requirements for employers to provide free and impartial face-to-face guidance for all defined contribution [pension] retirees.

“While many large organisations already provide some at-retirement help, the best value to pension scheme members will be if the guidance helps them take a complete view of their retirement income planning.”