While over two-thirds of employees are aware of auto-enrolment, only 4% of those who do not currently have a pension have had their employer discuss the change with them. With the phasing in of auto-enrolment already underway, employers will soon be forced to make changes to their pension provision, providing advisers with the perfect opportunity to discuss both pension and other workplace benefits.

Acceptance of auto-enrolment
The majority (69%) of employees are aware of auto-enrolment, with almost a third (31%) stating they have seen television adverts on the subject, while 22% have read about it. Many are happy about the introduction of auto-enrolment – 28% of workers think it is a good idea because people need to start saving for their retirement and 10% think it is a good thing as they have yet to set up a pension.

In addition, less than 1 in 5 (18%) plan to opt out due to having an existing pension (11%) or because they don’t think they can afford it (7%). However, one in ten (11%) are worried about how auto-enrolment might impact on their salary, although only 2% have considered the impact it might have on any existing benefits.

Employee Communication
Despite interest from employees, many employers have not yet chosen to discuss upcoming changes with their staff. The vast majority of those who don’t already have a pension (and are therefore ideal candidates for auto-enrolment) have not had the scheme discussed with them at work (96%). Overall, only 6% of workers expect that they will be encouraged by their employer to pay into the state Workplace Pension Scheme.

Nearly a fifth (18%) feel that their employers will do the statutory minimum required by the government, while 42% think their employers will resist any changes to the company’s existing pension scheme.

Paul Avis, Sales and Marketing Director at Canada Life Group Insurance comments;
“It is disappointing that so many employers are not discussing auto-enrolment with their staff, particularly as those who do not currently have a pension are ideal candidates for the new scheme.

“With auto-enrolment currently being phased in and workplace pensions soon to be a legal requirement, now is the ideal time to communicate with staff and discuss how they can start saving for their retirement. It is also a fantastic opportunity for advisers to speak with their clients and review what other workplace benefits they might be able to offer.”