Engagement with personal accounts is low

Employees are still alarming unengaged with personal accounts, warns JLT Benefit Solutions as it publishes researh showing little change in public awareness of pensions reform.

Awareness of personal accounts has remained largely unchanged over the 6 month period ending in February 2009, although there was a slight increase in the number of employees who thought they would not be affected by the scheme from 56 to 61 per cent. JLT Benefit Solutions is conducting the research with YouGov every six months until 2012, canvassing the views of more than 1,700 people working in employers with 10 or more staff.

The research shows that 30 per cent of those polled expect to opt out of personal accounts. JLT Benefit Solutions says the lack of positive engagement with the scheme may in some part be impacted by a general lack of trust in the Government, with 19 per cent of employees who were likely to opt out saying this was because of their lack of trust in Government schemes. A further 40 per cent of employees said they didn’t like the Government telling them what to do.

Duncan Howorth, chief executive, JLT UK Employee Benefits, says: “It is quite shocking that 57 per cent of employees surveyed believe that personal accounts will not have any benefit for them and nearly a third still feel they will opt out of the scheme. Since our last report there has actually been a small decrease in the number of employees who feel positive about the scheme. When we consider the results of our most recent research both in comparison with our last survey and in light of the current economic climate, employees are finding it hard to consider personal accounts when they have more immediate financial concerns with which to contend. Employees are, however, still missing the big picture, that their retirement planning is all part of a wider financial planning piece”.