NEARLY 9 out of 10 employers see a pension as an effective recruitment and retention tool, but only 7 per cent have carried out a formal assessment to confirm this, according to a survey published by consulting actuaries Punter Southall.
The survey also reveals that, while 59 per cent of companies still operate final salary schemes, only 5 per cent offer membership to new employees and 94 per cent have a DC scheme as the main scheme open to new entrants.
The survey also shows that three quarters of respondents believe they share a responsibility towards their employees’ financial education, and while 48 per cent do nothing to re-promote the pensions scheme to employees who have not previously joined, this figure is significantly down on last year, when 57 per cent did nothing.
While 86 per cent of respondents expect a change of government at the forthcoming election, 57 per cent believe such a change would have little impact on pensions, and only 13 per cent think it would have a positive impact. There appears to be widescale disenchantment with government interference in pensions, with one respondent urging government to “stop mucking about with pensions legislation”.
The research also found that 92 per cent of respondents believe that the responsibility for retirement saving rests primarily with the employee.
Damian Stancombe, head of corporate DC at Punter Southall says: “Social, economic and political pressures are influencing corporate pension provision and giving rise to considerable concern among UK employers.
“Despite these concerns, employers still value pensions as a recruitment and retention tool as a vital part of their benefits package. The overwhelming importance placed by employers on contributions, investment and communication reinforces the need for thorough and effective governance of DC schemes to ensure the interests of both employers and employees are protected.
“Unfortunately, politicians on all sides have clearly failed to convince UK plc that they have adequately addressed the challenges facing our pension system. Our view is that these issues must be depoliticised. The focus must be on solutions and reaching consensus on the future, so
that improvements can be made that will persist in the face of changing governments.”