Standard Life has said employers need to do more than simply encourage participation in pension plans.

The company stated employees are disengaged with their retirement planning and defined contribution schemes have lost up to 40 per cent of their value in the last year, while the over-65s now outnumber under-16s for the first time.

Andrew Dickson, senior business development manager at the firm, said the challenge for employers will be to develop a package that treats staff as consumers – as opposed to being a member.

"Employers need to move away from simply focussing on encouraging participation through accumulating pension assets – and learn to engage with their staff, treating them like consumers," he added.

Meanwhile, Mark Brookes, spokesperson for the National Association of Pension Funds, has said it is a "myth" that young employees do not save into workplace pensions.

He added that the most important thing is for them to have as much information as possible on the subject.