Third of employers feel pensions shake-up ‘too much too soon’

More than half of the UK’s biggest employers back the recent raft of changes to pensions, but 35 per cent feel the reforms are ‘too much too soon after auto-enrolment’, research has found.

In a survey of 50 of the UK’s biggest employers, 54 per cent said the sweeping changes are ‘spot on’ and a ‘great shake up of our current position’. `

The Budget changes on retirement process were considered most significant, of interest to 81 per cent of respondents, while just 2 per cent were most interested in the charge cap and charges disclosure announced by the DWP.

Just 7 per cent of organisations polled expressed an interest in the defined ambition or collective DC proposals published by the Government, while 5 per cent are interested in reforms around automated small pot transfers.

A further 5 per cent are interested in independent governance committees and trustee responsibilities introduced in the DWP consultation on Better Workplace Pensions.

The research found 38 per cent think DC pensions are a key part of their rewards package while 10 per cent think providing a workplace pension is all about compliance and keeping costs down. Just 10 per cent think that DC schemes will be very important in enabling people to retire when they want.

Standard Life head of workplace proposition Graeme Bold says: “It is clear the UK’s biggest employers back the Government’s reform of the pensions system which will ensure their employees are not only getting value for money but have new found freedom to use their savings through the workplace as they see fit in retirement.

“Pension reform brings a significant number of individuals into retirement savings for the first time and the majority will not make any active choice to join.  We take our responsibility to ensure individuals enrolled into their employer’s scheme receive value for money seriously and we support proposals to ensure that the framework, in which they build and access their savings, fully supports good retirement outcomes. 

“The key focus must be to ensure that auto-enrolment continues to be a success and that saving for retirement becomes a cultural norm. Full and appropriately targeted transparency on costs, fair charges and good governance will play a key part in achieving that social acceptance. 

“The reforms are an important first step in generating and maintaining confidence in pension savings.”