Research from Equiniti, a leading investment and pension technology company, shows that uncertainty about what to do is preventing savers from investing as much as they want to.
A survey of more than 6000 savers and investors found that more than half (58%) do not save or invest as much as they want, with around one in five (19.1%) blaming that on uncertainty about what to do next.
The research, carried out with employees and investors from Equiniti’s clients, which includes about half the FTSE100, also showed that half of those surveyed first acquired shares through a company share scheme.
A similar number felt that their employer doesn’t do enough to support informed financial decisions on savings and investments and would like to see them offer financial education, 49% and 46% respectively.
Phil Ainsley, Managing Director of Equiniti’s employee services business said: “Of the people we surveyed, many of them got into investing through their employer when they joined a company share plan. It shows that these schemes are a valuable gateway to saving and creating wealth for the longer term for many employees and – coming from the same source as their salary and pension – it’s unsurprising they look to their employer for further guidance.
“The government has taken steps to address financial literacy in schools, particularly focusing on debt issues for those continuing in education, but this research shows that more can and should be done in the workplace.
“I wouldn’t expect to see employers venturing into financial advice but many are starting to focus more on education.”
Andrew Woolnough, Equiniti’s Director of Employee Platforms and Engagement, is keen to support that corporate initiative and allow employees to make informed decisions. “People save or invest with our schemes through some of the biggest employers in the country, and they offer huge government backed incentives through tax savings and different investment options.
“This isn’t about telling people what to do, but equipping them to better understand their options. It’s in the employers’ interest; it helps build loyalty and mitigate financial stress in the workplace, which could affect the bottom line with increased absenteeism or presenteeism affecting employee productivity.
“For the people we surveyed it is clear that Britain is still a nation of savers, but uncertainty is holding them back.”