Communication on automatic enrolment needs improvement

17 March 2017


New research from Portafina shows that over 90% of Britain's workforce is still unsure about auto-enrolment details.


Portafina conducted the research with over 2,000 working Brits in January 2017 to find out how many were certain about their workplace pension status, what their attitude toward the scheme is, and how confident they felt that the auto-enrolment initiative would help to safeguard their finances for the future.


The data revealed that 39% were absolutely sure they were already auto-enrolled, yet only 16% of all respondents understood how the scheme actually worked – suggesting that at best, less than half of Brits already paying into a scheme are clear on where their hard-earned income is actually going.


Despite the deadline for phasing-in approaching ever-nearer, 95% of Brits polled didn’t know when their employer needed to complete their enrolment onto a scheme. Women were especially unclear (97%) though men weren’t far behind (93%).


Only 1 in 10 working adults felt glad that auto-enrolment took away some of the hassle of pension-planning, and the vast majority (84%) said they didn’t feel confident that auto-enrolment alone would ensure they had sufficient money in a pension for retirement years.


Older respondents showed a greater confidence in the scheme, with one in five current pensioners (aged over 65) believing the initiative was a positive move.


Jamie Smith-Thompson, managing director at Portafina, said:

“When the Government’s review is released I expect it will have a positive outlook on auto-enrolment. The rollout seems to be going as expected, the opt-out rates have been encouragingly low and government research has indicated the vast majority of small and micro employers are now aware of the policy…”

“What this new poll has highlighted is that communication around the benefits and limitations of auto-enrolment needs to be massively improved. Our results show that even though people are enrolling, they aren’t confident in the process or what the results will be.”