Employers warm to digital pension tools

Two in five employers see digital tools as the key to increasing pensions engagement, with 95 per cent of UK businesses surveyed feeling a responsibility to help employees engage with their workplace pension, new research shows.

The research found employers agree almost unanimously that they have a part to play in supporting employees with their workplace pension, with 68 per cent feeling a greater duty of care as a result of the reforms.

But shortage of time, an issue for 27 per cent, and costs of monitoring and training, a problem for 23 per cent, are holding them back, according to the survey of 500 businesses carried out by Lightspeed for Aegon.

The research found 39 per cent of businesses see digital tools as the key to ramping up pension engagement, with 22 per cent wanting more onsite training by financial advisers and 17 per cent wanting input from workplace consultants and a further 15 per cent thinking their pension provider would be best placed to fulfil this role.

But when stacked up against other back-office business objectives many do not see workplace pensions as a priority, with encouraging pension engagement in the workplace ranking 9th out of 10 key HR responsibilities, far behind staff welfare, health and safety, and payroll, staff training and the maintenance of employee records.

Only one in 20 businesses would like to see further government intervention plug this engagement gap.

Aegon UK managing director of workplace solutions Angela Seymour-Jackson says: “Many employers feel digital solutions are the answer, alongside greater training and support from advisers, consultants and their pension provider. Individual guidance and coaching for employees can also be a great way to educate them about their retirement income. Everyone in the sector has a part to play; only now, it’s the businesses themselves that have the power to drive real change.”