73% of employers believe that educating staff on pensions is important and that it is an essential element of the support that they provide to employees, according to recent research by the National Skills Academy for Financial Services (NSAFS) in partnership with AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM). Over a quarter do not do anything about it; 26% of employers do not provide any kind of information, guidance or advice about pensions to their staff.
Furthermore, over half of employers (56%) only spend a maximum of one day a month on pensions-related administration and support to staff, yet over three quarters (76%) believe overall responsibility for educating the UK population on retirement and pensions falls to employers.
These findings come as the pensions landscape changes, with a move towards defined contribution pensions, the introduction of auto-enrolment and increasing flexibility about retirement age making pensions education more important now than ever before.
Of those employers who offer their staff support or guidance about pensions, over half, 53%, provide a face to face meeting with a company representative. Six in ten do not provide online resources and almost two thirds, 65%, do not introduce their staff to a financial adviser.
To address the need for more financial education, AXA IM and the NSAFS have launched Get Ready, a free, interactive online learning tool to empower people and provide basic, yet essential, information to those in workplace schemes, helping them to prepare for life in retirement.
Stephanie Condra, Retirement Market Strategist at AXA IM explains:
"It is clear from our findings that employers want to take a more active role in supporting their staff as they prepare for retirement. Furthermore, as auto-enrolment comes into force employers recognise that they need to do more to make sure their employees understand their workplace pension scheme; Get Ready can support employers in doing this.
"The tool is an objective, reliable source of information for employees in workplace schemes. Furthermore, it helps employers to demonstrate the benefit of their pension plan and can send a message to new and existing employees that they want to support their journey towards retirement. Get Ready is an ideal solution for the 73% of employers who recognise the importance of educating their staff on pensions."
Sylvia Perrins, CEO at the NSAFS adds:
"As the pensions industry continues to evolve, it is vital that employees understand their pensions options and, as recognised by 76% of employers, employers themselves have a responsibility to ensure their staff are well-informed. Furthermore, one would hope that employees who feel knowledgeable about their financial position tend to be more productive in the workplace.
"Get Ready will support a pensions manager or company HR professionals in answering questions on pensions and act as a starting point to drive conversations about retirement planning in the workplace".
The tool will be available to employees of participating companies. For further details on obtaining the free of charge tool for your company, please visit www.getready.net.