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Nearly Half Of UK Pension Savers Unaware They Are Saving Into Pension

Tuesday, 8 December 2020
  • EQ research shows that under half (48%) of full-time workers believe they are saving into a pension
  • However, official statistics finds 88% of eligible employees are saving into an occupational pension scheme
  • Findings demonstrate the success of auto-enrolment in pushing savers into later-life saving but need for further engagement

Analysis from EQ (Equiniti Group plc), one of the largest providers of outsourced pension administration in the UK, suggests that nearly half of the UK’s full-time workers don’t realise that they are contributing to an occupational pension scheme.

Research conducted with over 2,000 adults found that just 48% of the UK’s full-time workers thought they were saving into a pension1, despite ONS statistics proving that nearly nine in 10 eligible employees are making contributions to one2.

This means that millions of Brits who have been auto-enrolled into pension saving are unaware they are regularly paying into a pot through their employer and building up a fund that will support them through their retirement.

Duncan Watson, CEO of EQ’s pension business, said the results demonstrated a need for greater pension saver engagement, to cement the success of auto-enrolment in substantially increasing the number of those saving for later-life.

“Auto-enrolment has revolutionised pension saving for millions of Brits who are now participating in their workplace scheme due to the opt-out system now in place. It is evident, however, that pension saving is still not on the radar of many people, even if they are actually making contributions to their retirement fund.

“The first step of the process is now complete – now focus should shift to encouraging employees to engage with the pension saving journey, increase awareness of the importance of increasing their contribution rates and maximising employer contributions.”

Previous EQ analysis of ONS figures founds that preserved capital in defined contribution pensions has surged since the advent of auto-enrolment, increasing from £139 billion in 2012-14 to a total of £291 billion in 2016-183.

This indicates that many employees could face trouble in the future tracking down various pension pots that they have paid into during different jobs throughout their career, or if they fail to update their contact details with all the schemes they have participated in.

Duncan Watson believes the Pensions Dashboard will go a long way to ensuring workers have a closer connection with their savings, commenting: “We are slowly tracking towards establishing a dashboard that will give employees the ability to see all their pots in one easy-to-use interface.

“This will be a substantial step-forward in saver engagement, but we urge all schemes to get ahead of the game and begin preparing their data for this major project. It will require a lot of work and for the sake of consumers, schemes should begin as soon as possible to avoid a last-minute dash to the finish line.”


For more information about EQ:

Tulchan Communications

Martin Robinson
Tel: +44(0)20 7353 4200

About the research

1.  Research conducted for EQ by YouGov between 11th-14th September 2020; base of 2008 UK adults

2.  Workplace Pension Participation and Savings Trends of Eligible Employees Official Statistics: 2009 to 2019

3.  Pension Wealth in Great Britain, Wealth & Assets survey

Notes to Editor:

About EQ (Equiniti Group plc)

EQ is an international technology-led services and payments specialist. With over 5,000 employees, it supports 36 million people in 120 countries and serves c.70% of the FTSE 100. EQ’s purpose is to care for every customer and simplify every transaction, delivered with less of an impact on the environment.

EQ is listed on the London Stock Exchange as Equiniti Group plc.

Find out more

EQ serves clients and customers through four divisions:

EQ Boardroom: Share registration, governance and investor relations advisory, and employee benefits services

EQ Digital: Helping regulated businesses and Government to manage customers through innovative digital solutions

EQ Paymaster: Pensions, annuities, flexible benefits and payroll for the UK’s largest public and private sector organisations

EQ U.S.: Transfer agency, equity compensation services and digital solutions for U.S. firms; serving the world's leading brands since 1929