A poll of 2000 people by research company CoreData, found 49 percent were unsure whether they would opt out of the new workplace pension schemes.

Some 16 percent stated they were planning to opt out, alongside the 35 percent who said they would take part.

Adrian Walker, a pensions expert for Skandia, said this could highlight a lack of understanding of workplace pension schemes and the benefits they could provide.

He added: “It is concerning that so many people don’t know what they intend to do when their employer introduces a workplace pension scheme. For the vast majority of people, it will be a good option and if they opt out they will be giving up free money from their company and the government.”

KEY FACTS:

• 16 percent of those polled planned to opt out of an auto-enrolment scheme.

• A 25-year old earning £30,000 could end up with an annual income of £16,936 on top of a tax free lump-sum of £92,500 if they opt to stay in a new workplace pension.

• This figure would fall to £1352 on top of a lump-sum of £7550 if the same person opted out of the scheme until they were 55.

• 35% confirmed they would contribute to an auto-enrolment scheme

ADVISER COMMENT:

This lack of understanding was predicted by Alan Maxwell, director of Glasgow-based Corporate Benefits Consulting, who said that despite the government’s work and expenditure to publicise the scheme, more needed to be done to educate the public at large.

He said: “Among small employers there is a complete lack of knowledge about auto-enrollment. Where there is awareness, many are sticking their heads in the sand.”


Published: 10 October 2012
By Kevin White
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