Workers unaware of new pension scheme

new pension auto enrolment

new pension auto enrolmentAn "alarming" number of workers are not aware of the plan to automatically enrol employees into a pension scheme, just weeks before the reform comes into effect.

Over half (52%) of adults were found to be "completely unaware" that many workers will automatically join a company scheme from October 1, according to a poll of 5,200 people by Scottish Widows.

The finance firm reported that lower paid staff are less likely to know about the impending pension change, known as NEST pensions.

What are NEST pensions?

NEST stands for National Employment Savings Trust, and the government hopes it will remedy the lack of pension saving across the UK's working population.

It means that from October it will be mandatory for large companies to provide a pension scheme for their staff, and both you and your company will be required to make a monthly contribution to the scheme.

The plan will be slowly implemented over the next few years, meaning some firms will not have to act until at least January 2016. With this in mind, it is important to find out when and how the pension change will affect you.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: "We will boost awareness of automatic enrolment with our national campaign which includes television advertising from later this month.

"While the launch is in October, we are bringing the reforms in gradually over the next five years, so it's understandable that some people will not be aware of the changes. The Pensions Regulator is working with employers to make sure they have the information they need to explain the benefits of workplace pensions to their staff."

Retirement savings

The research also revealed an increase in the average amount that people are willing to save for their retirement.

Since last year, the amount that workers are prepared to pay into their workplace pensions has doubled from £37.50 a month to £76.95.

However,experts have warned that saving this amount would still not be enough to provide people with an acceptable standard of living in their retirement.

Lynn Graves of Scottish Widows said: "As a nation we are slowly waking up to the reality of how we are going to be able to fund our retirement, with many people recognising that they can't solely rely on the state to provide the majority of their income in old age."