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Poverty-stricken pensioners

January 2005

Poverty-Stricken Pensioners

Amazon Book - Good retirement guide 2004A new report from Age Concern

Employers are not doing enough to encourage workers to join company pension schemes, according to new research by Age Concern.

  • Lack of information and limited opportunities are deterring many workers from making crucial savings towards their retirement.

  • The charity is calling for employers to make it easier for workers to save into a company pension.

  • 30% of non-members surveyed said they hadn’t joined the company pension scheme when they started work and had never been asked again.

  • One employee reported a wait of three years before being allowed to join the scheme. 

  • Instead of the current system where many people have to 'opt in' to a company pension scheme, Age Concern believes that employers should consider automatically enrolling staff which would give them the choice to actively ‘opt out’.

  • Employers should do more to encourage people to join occupational schemes, such as inviting workers who not yet members to join on an annual basis.

What do employees want?

  • More information, higher pay and additional company contributions were cited by the non-members as key changes that would encourage them to join their company scheme.

  • 29% of the non-members questioned admitted they could not actually afford to contribute to an occupational pension at the moment.

  • One in five non-members gave ‘other financial priorities’ as a reason for not joining .

The Pensions Commission’s report last year clearly demonstrated the need to increase the national pension pot.

But compelling workers to pay into private pension schemes would make life much harder for the millions of lower-income workers who already struggle to make ends meet and may offer little financial reward in retirement.
Age Concern believes that if increased compulsion is necessary, the fairest way to achieve it would be through the state pension system.

To save or not to save: workers’ pensions and provision for retirement, Age Concern January 2005


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