A half (48%) of UK workers have not been sufficiently informed about auto enrolment by their employers according to new research from Office Angels.

Two-thirds (66%) of employees either don’t understand or only partially understand what auto enrolment actually is or how it will affect their salary. And with almost four in ten (38%) workers neglecting to regularly check whether they have been paid correctly, a significant proportion may not even notice that pension payments have been taken.

Overall, the research revealed a lack of understanding amongst workers: a third (31%) believe that annual income is the only factor which affects pension payments. Only half (50%) of workers understand that auto enrolment is beneficial for their future and standard of living when they retire.

The research also found:

  • 40% of workers from companies of between 101-250 employees have still not been informed by their employers of the changes, whose staging  date is just four months away in April 2014
  • More than half (55%) of UK workers wouldn’t bother with a pension if it weren’t for auto enrolment
  • 40% of workers wouldn’t know who to approach if they wanted to discuss any issues related to auto enrolment
  • Over a third (36%) of workers do not know how much they will need to pay into the scheme

Angela Smith, Managing Director, Office Angels said: “A shift is needed in attitudes towards pensions in the UK. HR professionals need to take the necessary steps to prepare workers for the change in pension auto enrolment — otherwise, they risk damage to their employer brand, a drop in overall engagement levels, and a breakdown of the relationship they’ve built with their employees.

“Employers must demonstrate long-term commitment in their staff, and help them to take the necessary steps to prepare for a longer future of working. As businesses can no longer use their pension scheme solely as a way to distinguish themselves amongst competitors, they also need to think creativity as to how their benefits package can stand them apart.”