Employee demand for financial advice and information grows

A growing number of employees wants financial advice or information as part of their workplace benefits package, according to a report by Scottish Widows.

Four out of 10 employees say employers should offer full financial advice if they offer access to a pension, with a further 25 per cent saying they thought that their employers should at least offer some kind of general information, according to figures in Scottish Widow’s Workplace Pensions Report 2010. In 2009, the corresponding ratios were 33 per cent for full financial advice and 43 per cent for general information about retirement planning, giving a combined total 25 per cent lower than this year.
The report identified a widespread lack of understanding of pension savings. Although a majority of employees are reliant on their company pension as their main source of retirement income, 42 per cent of respondents with a defined contribution scheme did not know how much their employer actually contributed.
Amongst those under 50 years of age, 49 per cent admitted to not doing enough to prepare financially for their retirement
Scottish Widows says the report underlines the importance of pension provision as an employee engagement tool, with over two-fifths of workers saying that the quality of the company pension scheme is an important factor when thinking about changing employer and 63 per cent saying that they would be less likely to look for a new job should their employer increase their pensions contributions.
The provider has placed employee engagement at the heart of its corporate wrap proposition, mymoneyworks, launched in April.
Ann Flynn, head of marketing communications, corporate pensions, Scottish Widows, says: “As the face of UK workplace pension provision continues to change, it is important for employers to engage with their employees to help their understanding of the benefits available to them as the individual has to take responsibility and make the correct decisions about their short, medium and long term financial planning needs. mymoneyworks was has been designed to provide a trusted place for employees to go for all their financial information, including workplace benefits. The aim is to help employers engage with their employees about the benefits available to them and to make it easier for employees to access financial education and guidance to help them take control of their financial planning.”