Today, the Department for Work and Pensions publishes findings from the 2009 survey of individual’s attitudes and reactions to the workplace pension reforms.
The survey is designed to measure support for the reforms among workers eligible for auto-enrolment and estimate their likely behaviour including whether they are likely to stay in workplace pensions and their likely contribution levels. The 2009 findings updates estimates from an earlier survey conducted in 2007 and these findings are used by the Department to estimate the likely impact of the reforms on future pension saving.
Face-to-face interviews were conducted with more than 1,000 individuals eligible for automatic enrolment.
Attitudes to the reforms and likely participation following auto-enrolment were broadly consistent in 2009 with estimates from 2007.
There was broad support for the key features of the reforms: 90 per cent said the employer contribution was attractive, 83 per cent found the opportunity to opt-out attractive, the individual contribution was considered attractive by 68 per cent and automatic enrolment for eligible workers by 64 per cent.
The majority of people (65 per cent) said that, if automatically enrolled into a workplace pension scheme tomorrow, they would expect to stay in the scheme, 20 per cent said they would opt out, and 15 per cent were undecided.
The most common reason for staying in a workplace pension scheme following auto-enrolment was the need to start saving, mentioned by 53 per cent of those asked. The main reason given by those who said they would opt-out was that they could not afford to (54 per cent).
Overall, 3 in 4 (75 per cent) said they could afford to put four per cent of their wage into a workplace pension.
Around half (48 per cent) of those who said they would stay in a workplace pension after auto-enrolment said they were likely to contribute more than four per cent of their pay.
Notes to Editors
DWP Research Report No. 669 - “Individuals’ attitudes and likely reactions to the workplace pension reforms 2009: Report of a quantitative survey” is published on 27th July 2010 by Corporate Document Services. The research was conducted by the National Centre for Social Research, on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.