Kavitha’s keynote: Financial awareness is paramount

Kavitha’s keynote: Choosing to challenge

The pandemic has thrown many people’s finances into disarray, with some finding themselves unexpectedly being made redundant, while others at the end of their careers may be having to delay their retirement to save more money.

While everyone’s situation is different, in these trying times what has become increasingly apparent is the importance of financial awareness and education among employees – no matter what stage they are at in their working lives.

However, new research has highlighted worrying statistics with regard to employees’ understanding of their pension pots.

As reported earlier this week, a study carried out by Hymans Robertson and Like Minds found just a quarter (27%) of defined benefits pensions (DB) members over 55 felt confident they knew what to do with their fund at retirement. Additionally, about a third did not feel knowledgeable about their current DB pension arrangement.

The research also revealed that almost half (47%) wanted more support about the options available to them, while only one in five believed the information they currently received from their employer was adequate.

So perhaps now is the time for employers to review the current support they are providing to staff in this area to improve financial awareness, at a time when guidance is most needed.

Meanwhile, data from the Office of National Statistics suggested that just 58% of all part-time employees in the UK have workplace pensions, compared to 86% of full-time staff.

The findings showed that only 48% of part-time private sector employees belong to a workplace pension, compared to 83% of public sector workers.

Among full-time employees, there is less of a division, with 84% of those in the private sector enrolled in a scheme, compared to 94% in the public sector.

Clearly, the need for financial security should extend beyond the here and now, and employers must take some responsibility for ensuring their workforces not only survive the financial impact of the pandemic today but are also prepared for the future.

Kavitha Sivasubramaniam
Tweet: @kavithasiva_EB