UK – Soft compulsion should result in more than two-thirds of UK employees staying within a pension fund once enrolled, according to new figures from the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP).
According to its latest annual 'Attitudes to pensions' survey, nearly four-fifths of respondents without an occupational pension do not know what their income will be upon retirement – almost double the 41% of respondents who said they were unaware of their retirement income despite being members of an occupational fund.
Examining the impact of auto-enrolment, the survey noted that it would affect "those who have never had a private pension to a greater extent" than those who had, at one point, saved in a private pension.
The survey also found that 70% would stay within a scheme once auto-enrolled.
Pensions minister Steve Webb claimed auto-enrolment would "take the hassle" out of pension saving and noted that the department would soon bring forward proposals to reform the state pension to make it easier to understand.
The DWP is expected to publish details of the flat-rate state pension reform before the end of the year.
The policy has repeatedly been announced by the government, most recently in the state opening of parliament by Queen Elizabeth II.
However, Webb has been reluctant to provide details of the White Paper, referring to it as "minty" in colour – a reference to being halfway between White Paper and Green Paper, with the latter more consultative and the former the basis for legislation.
Examining the state pension age (SPA), 62% of women respondents underestimated their state pension age, whereas only 38% of men underestimated their retirement age.
The DWP said: "Women, including those within 10 years of reaching SPA, are unclear about their own SPA, no doubt because of the changes to this policy that were already underway at the time of interview.
"There is still some confusion evident among men, although those within 10 years of reaching SPA were much more able to forecast their SPA correctly. This is most likely a function of the later introduction of changes to men's SPA and of fewer changes being introduced."