UK - Less than a fifth of employees who already saving in a pension intend to increase their contributions in the next year, according to research from the UK's National Association of Pensions Funds (NAPF).

Findings from the latest edition of the NAPF's Workplace Pension Survey showed the number of employees planning to put more money in their pension has at least tripled from just 6% in the third quarter of 2009 to 17% last month.

There was also a slight fall in the proportion of people planning to either reduce contributions, leave the scheme or take a pension holiday - slipping from 10% to 8% -  but three-quarters of respondents said they do not plan to make any changes to their saving patterns.

The survey of 1,248 full and part-time employees, conducted at the end of February, also revealed more people consider pensions as the best way to save for retirement than at the time of the last survey in September 2009, as the figure increased from 35% to 44%. Property as a way of funding retirement fell in popularity from 23% to 18%, as did individual savings accounts (ISAs) and bank accounts, which fell from 14% to 10% and from 10% to 7% respectively.

Other findings showed that over a quarter (27%) of respondents would have more confidence in pensions if there was a guarantee that they would not lose any money they put into the scheme, while a further 26% would like a guarantee that the pension would not run out before they die. The NAPF said this result suggested the current requirement to purchase an annuity by age 75 - which is expected to be scrapped if a Conservative government is elected - is actually in line with individuals' wishes.

Ahead of the 2012 pension reforms however - which require an employer contribution of 3% for scheme members - only 12% of respondents claimed this would give them more confidence in pensions. And just 13% of employees want assurance they will not lose other benefits by joining a pension scheme, despite concerns that the the impact of means-testing on the auto-enrolment of certain workers into a pension scheme.

Nigel Peaple, director of policy at the NAPF, claimed: "It is clear that people greatly value pensions. They consider pensions to be the best way to save for retirement - far ahead of property - and over three-quarters value an employer more if they offer a workplace pension."

He added employees want their pension to provide them with certainty, "in particular they want to be sure they won't lose money."

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