I was disappointed but not surprised to read that a recent survey has revealed that over half (53 %), of company pension schemes leave it to the point of retirement, or within a year, before first contacting members about their retirement options!
Among the different options available, some businesses will signpost pre-retirees to the government’s Pensions Wise portal, slightly fewer to their pension provider, and less still to the online adviser website Unbiased.
Of the business’s surveyed, only 42 per cent have an online portal or tool for employees to access information, whilst 33 per cent refer employees to a financial adviser.
However, even this support does not appear to have improved members’ knowledge, as the survey also found that 83 per cent of scheme members are unsure of or don’t understand pension freedoms, and the same percentage have no idea when they can afford to retire!
Companies with schemes links said that over 90 % of members are unsure of their retirement dates. In contrast, only 24 % of members who speak to an adviser have the same insecurities.
When you consider that an individual’s retirement planning is effectively arranging their financial wherewithal for a period of perhaps 25+ years after they retire, when most people have no other means of supporting themselves other than their pension, this ‘last minute’ approach to updating members does seem quite startling!
The moral being that if you are in a Company scheme, then make sure that your HR department are ahead of the curve, and offering you the opportunity for advice and to review your retirement situation and plans.
Source: survey by Lemonade Reward, of 60 companies with 3.6 million members
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