Employees look to employer for asset allocation decisions

Around 2.6 million people who have not yet retired are most likely to look towards their employers for help with asset allocation decisions around their retirement planning, according to research by Baring Asset Management.

The research, which was conducted online among 1,581 non-retired UK adults, found that 14% of respondents said their employer should be responsible for ensuring they fully understand the asset allocation of their pension fund.

Other common sources for respondents to seek asset allocation advice for their retirement planning are independent financial advisers (IFAs) (21%), a bank or building society (16%), and family and friends (12%).

The research also found:

  • 21% of respondents chose their fund allocations themselves.
  • 45% of respondents did not know where their money was invested.
  • 33% of respondents invested in a default option.

Marino Valensise (pictured), chief investment officer at Barings Asset Management, said: “It is interesting to note the significant and complementary role that employers and IFAs are set to have in helping people plan for their retirement. 

“While the onus remains on employees to seek independent third-party advice at the point of being auto-enrolled, the remit of employer responsibility is growing in the employee’s eyes. 

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“Many of the decisions in the lead-up to, and just before, retirement cannot be undone and it is essential that the best choices are made as soon as possible. 

“While it is important for people to have a clear understanding of the investments they own, the underlying asset allocations and their risk profile, many of the decisions around planning for our retirement are just too important and they should look to consult the advice of a professional.”