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1 in 6 employers say staff are still confused about pension freedoms

One in six employers say their staff are still confused about the new pension freedoms, over six months after they were introduced.

Asked what level of understanding their employees had when it came to the changes – which give savers more flexibility than ever before as to how they access their pension – and how it affected them, 17% believed most of their staff are still in the dark. While one in five (21%) did say their workforce had a good understanding, and a third (33%) a limited understanding, it still leaves a knowledge gap where savers may not be taking advantage of the new flexibilities available to them.

The Close Brothers Business Barometer, which surveyed almost 900 employers across the UK, also found that the preference in who employees are turning to has evened out. In July, Pension Wise was more popular than both employers and advisers when it came to individuals looking for more information, despite them having a lack of understanding around what the Pension Wise service actually provides. However, three months on and an equal number are now turning to employers, advisers and Pension Wise.

Looking for help from their employer is more popular in bigger businesses, with just 10% of the smallest organisations (with a turnover of less than £500,000) finding they were receiving enquiries from staff, compared to over a quarter (26%) of those for the largest (with a turnover of £10 million or more).

According to employers, a small percentage of people are also turning to their own research and family and friends for help. 14% said their staff are using the internet to improve understanding around the pension reforms, while 12% are talking to family and friends, compared to 12% and 10% respectively three months ago.