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Pension performance disappoints one in five employees

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More than one in five company pension scheme members – the equivalent of 2.3 million workers – are disappointed with the performance of their retirement savings, research from employee benefits consultancy Portus shows.

Its nationwide study shows 21 per cent of employees are concerned about the performance of their company pension scheme over the past two years and that worries about how funds perform are deterring workers from retirement saving.
 
Around one in 20 employees have not joined schemes because of worries about how their money is invested.
 
Government data shows membership of workplace pension schemes is at a record high with more than 33.5 million now signed up including 11.1 million active members.
 
However Portus, which offers the employer-paid RetirePort guidance service for employees through their workplace, believes employees would benefit from increased support and guidance on their retirement saving options to support further expansion of workplace pension schemes.
 
Its research shows just 26 per cent of employees receive guidance or advice on retirement planning at work – 11 per cent of employees have regular one-to-one meetings with advisers while 15 per cent have access to online support through their employer.
 
Around 27 per cent of workers say they would welcome guidance from their employer on retirement planning while a third (33 per cent) say they would be willing to source and pay for independent financial advice.
 
Portus Consulting commercial director Steve Watson says: “Action to tackle the UK’s problem with retirement saving including workplace auto-enrolment is definitely working with pension scheme membership at an all-time high.
 
“But the missing link is that employees are being left to their own devices and significant numbers are disappointed with pension savings while others are being deterred from even starting to save.
 
“Employers can play a role in helping to provide guidance on long-term retirement planning but clearly need support in delivering it as the costs can deter employees as well as employers.”
 
Portus’s RetirePort – which is accessible at work and at home around the clock – provides guidance on all aspects of retirement planning including tax and regulation as well as enabling users to track retirement savings including private and State pensions as well as other investments including property.
 
It aims to increase employee engagement with retirement planning and help staff to build up enough funds to retire at their target age. Employees can use the portal to outline scenarios on increasing pension contributions, for instance, and the impact on how they decide to take retirement income. They retain access to the service if they leave their job.
 
Employees enter and update monthly expenses as well as property ownership or rental costs, debts or savings, and health data including exercise, smoking and alcohol intake. Life expectancy is calculated using the death data run against mortality tables.

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