AEGON found that two-thirds (65%) of IFAs said that active promotion of quality pension schemes is necessary if advisers are to minimise ‘levelling down’ of corporate pension provision ahead of auto-enrolment. The survey also found 61% of advisers thought generating increased interest in non-core benefits, such as salary sacrifice, would minimise levelling down whilst 53% thought this could be achieved through increased marketing activity, such as seminars and education in the workplace.
AEGON’s findings suggest advisers think there is a continued strong onus on the industry to try to educate and to actively encourage quality pension provision. It highlights the positive impact a proactive approach can have on employer and employee engagement in pensions. This is a key activity that providers and advisers currently undertake that the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) will not.
As part of its survey, AEGON also asked 100 IFAs:
Do you think employers or employees will need more communication in the run up to and after auto-enrolment?
With auto-enrolment on the horizon, the new employer responsibilities offer a genuine opportunity to get millions more people saving for their retirement. As employees get enrolled into their employer’s qualifying scheme or NEST, employers will have to contribute for every employee that stays in the scheme.
AEGON’s survey suggests advisers think more communication could help employers prepare for their new responsibilities and may also help to prevent ‘levelling down’. This would have the benefit of greatly expanding workplace pension coverage throughout the UK and get more people saving more money for their retirement.
Neil Davies, Head of Corporate Marketing at AEGON, said:
“In our latest IFA Insights research, we were keen to find out the views of advisers who work in the corporate arena and in particular their thoughts on the imminent changing business environment. Our findings continue to prove there is a greater need than ever for providing quality financial advice in the workplace.
“With the new regulatory environment, the new employer responsibilities offer a genuine opportunity to get millions more people saving for their retirement. There is no doubt employers will need help with these complex rules and regulations through expert advice and worksite education.
“As auto-enrolment approaches, our findings highlight the positive impact that a proactive approach can have on employer and employee engagement in pensions. Employers should be encouraged to set up or maintain their more generous private pension schemes and people need encouragement to remain in these schemes and contribute more than the statutory minimum. We believe successful reform requires a thriving pensions market alongside NEST.”
The full report can be viewed at: http://www.aegon.co.uk/
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Notes to Editors
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In the UK AEGON offers pensions, life insurance, asset management and financial advice to around 2 million customers. AEGON UK has assets under administration of £56bn billion and employs approximately 4,900 staff.
AEGON is one of the world’s leading insurance groups with approximately 30 thousand employees world wide and 40 million customers in the Americas, Europe and Asia. AEGON's revenue generating assets totalled EUR 361 billion at December 31, 2009.