Employers feel unable to issue pension advice

More than a quarter (27 per cent) of employers admitted that they are not confident in providing their workers with information on saving for retirement, according to research from Aegon.

Furthermore, over half (51 per cent) said that they think the financial wellbeing of their employees is not their personal responsibility and 45 per cent of employers felt that they would be “intruding on the lives of their staff” if they offered to provide financial advice.

This is despite figures showing that 4.2 million days of work are lost each year due to poor financial wellbeing, costing employers £626m each year.

Additionally, 38 per cent of responding employers were unconfident that they could answer staff questions on general savings.

Commenting on the findings, Aegon head of pensions said: “Our research is clear that poor financial wellbeing not only impacts individuals but is affecting businesses bottom line as well.

“Many people are living life on a financial cliff edge with debt and loans, coupled with the burden of financial obligations and commitments, impacting their ability to control their finances and respond to financial unpredictability

“As a first step, understanding the difference between the financial information they can easily offer and formal financial advice will enable employers to offer financial education, which can go a long way in supporting staff who may be struggling.

“More often than not, businesses will already offer a range of workplace benefits and simply communicating details of these can be a positive step in the right direction.

“This should include providing details of the company pension scheme in a clear and easy to understand way.”

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