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Trust in pensions drops following record deficits

03 September 2009 / by Rebecca Sargent

More than two thirds of people in the UK do not trust that pensions are a reliable way of saving for retirement, research from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP has revealed.

The research comes after record deficits for FTSE 100 defined benefit pension schemes were reported, causing a blow to pension confidence.

Overall, the survey found that women are slightly less trusting of pensions than men, as 28 per cent of women say they have faith in pensions, compared to 33 per cent of men.

The survey also found that younger people are more positive than their older counterparts, as 38 per cent of 18-34 year olds said they have faith in pensions, while just 28 per cent of those aged 55 and over said the same.

Commenting, Raj Mody, pensions partner and chief actuary at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLp said: "At the same time that companies are grappling with how to repair past pension deficits and carrying out major reviews of their future pension provision, it appears that employees do not necessarily value or trust pensions as a savings opportunity in the first place."

Adding: "This is a crazy situation for employers – pensions can still be an effective way of saving for retirement for many people but a reality check for all parties is needed."

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP believes that there us an opportunity for employers and pension providers to take the lead when it comes to rebuilding trust in pensions. Mr Mody adds:

"To do this, and close the gap between what pensions can offer versus what value employees think they are getting, there is a need for: help for individuals with savings planning; use of simpler, non-techinical communication; and easier access to individualised pension information.

"Government also has a critical role to play in ensuring stability in the fiscal and legal regime affecting pensions."

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