Employees are shy of retiring

Only 38% of employees think they're doing enough to prepare for retirement. Perhaps they should take a leaf out of management's pension book...

by Dave Waller
Last Updated: 12 Sep 2011
There’s a lot of chat about pensions these days, driven largely by events in the public sector and the ever-changing retirement age, which is being pushed back more than tears at the end of a Welsh rugby match. (The government is now saying the timetable for raising the state pension age to 67 is too slow). Given all the uncertainty, coupled with general cuts, tax increases, inflation and the effect of the failing European and American economies on the level of annuity payments, it should come as no surprise that the nation’s nest-eggs are starting to feel a little soft boiled. According to the Mercer recruitment’s What’s Working research, only 38% of employees feel they’re doing enough to ready themselves financially for retirement. That lack of confidence peaks among those from 21 to 45 years old.

And it seems people aren’t shy of blaming their employers for this uncertainty. When asked if their organisation was doing enough to help them prepare for retirement, only 35% said they were satisfied. In an ironic twist, that negativity seemed to be most prevalent in HR, the department that’s often closely involved in telling people what they can get from their company. In what may be a case of knowing too much, respondents in HR were less satisfied with their company’s retirement plans than the average employee, 47% to the average 49%, as well as being less confident in preparing for their retirement (33% compared to the average 38%). Only 28% of HR bods thought their company was doing enough to help with pension provision.

But in what is fast becoming an endemic split between those at the top and the lesser mortals below them, senior management are overwhelmingly more confident that they are doing enough to prepare for their retirement - 61% compared to 33% of general tykes. Could that be something to do with the amount of moolah they’re able to stash under the mattress?

It’s the sort of thing that’s well worth gaining some confidence about – a well-stacked pension pot should help save on the burden of a whole generation lumbering into retirement going ‘hang on, I haven’t sorted this out’, while equally clearing jobs for younger people coming through. Yet while the report mentions personal preparedness and the role of the company, it doesn’t factor in people’s lack of confidence in the whole pensions system actually functioning by the time they actually get to retire. If indeed they ever will…

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