Are businesses doing enough to help women save for retirement?

We recently surveyed over 2000 UK adults and found that the majority of people in employment in the UK will not be able to support themselves when they reach retirement age, and women are especially concerned.

What our research found:

  • Six out of ten people working in the UK expect to be forced to work past the retirement age.
  • 1 in 4 women stated that they are not in a position to contribute to a pension compared with only 17% of men.
  • Almost a fifth of women believe they will have to downsize their home to fund retirement as opposed to under a sixth of men.
  • Just under half stated that people should begin contributing towards a pension before they are 22 years old to ensure a comfortable retirement.

The findings come as the UK enters a critical time for Auto Enrolment. Last year, the Government introduced legislation which requires employees to automatically enrol all eligible employees into a pension scheme requiring contributions from both employer and employee.

This year businesses with between 60 and 350 employees will be required to auto enrol, meaning as many as 50,000 firms will enrol their employees into a scheme as the government attempts to tackle the pensions deficit and get people saving earlier in their careers.

However the study also showed:

  • Nearly 1 in 5 people have not heard of pensions auto enrolment, a worrying figure given its importance in addressing the pensions black hole.
  • The onus is on each individual business to communicate the scheme to their employees; yet almost two thirds of the workers surveyed said that they had found out about the change in legislation through newspaper articles or the government’s advertising campaign.

Ceara Metcalf, Product Manager for Payroll in our small business division commented: “It’s no secret the UK is sat on a ticking pensions time bomb, but it’s concerning to see that women feel that they are going to be harder hit when it comes to retirement. The new legislation around auto enrolment affects the majority of workers, and making contributions early could go some way to alleviating this fear.”

“Government legislation is trying to tackle the issue, but clearly more needs to be done to encourage people to save earlier. Contributions are due to rise in 2018 and although auto enrolment is a good first step, more must be saved to ensure a comfortable retirement and we must take charge of our own destiny to make this happen. This represents a fundamental shift in thinking about the future.”

You can find out more about auto enrolment in our business advice area.