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Barclays: SME employers and workers fall behind on pensions

07 March 2007
One in ten small and medium business employers fail to offer staff a company pensions scheme, Barclays has found, despite the fact that government regulations oblige all employers to do so.

Those companies which do contribute to their employees' pensions funds are giving 4.82 per cent of employees' earnings on average, Barclays' financial planning director Stephen Ingledew found – yet only five per cent plan to give more in future.

More seriously, employees themselves are failing to match employers' contributions, saving only 4.78 per cent of their salary.

As a result, only one in eight employers questioned agreed that customers were putting away enough for a comfortable retirement.

Companies must promote awareness about pensions contributions, Mr Ingledew believes: "Employers should shoulder some responsibility in conveying to staff the importance of contributing to their pension schemes."

But contributions may not be enough to guarantee a satisfactory pay-out, a report from pensions consultants Watson Wyatt found this week.

Pensions pay-outs for employees retiring today are 75 per cent lower than ten years ago, it revealed, even when they have paid in the same amount over their working life, due to lower investment returns and annuity rates.

To learn more about occupational pensions, click here.

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