Nearly one in five employees have built up three or more company pension funds during their career making it more difficult to keep track of their retirement planning, new research from employee benefits consultancy Portus shows.
Its nationwide study shows 17% of employees have built up three or more pension funds as they have moved jobs during their working career and that rises to 27% of those aged 45 to 54. Men are more likely to have multiple pension schemes than women – 20% of male employees have three or more schemes compared with 13% of women.
Portus, which provides the employer-paid moneygym guidance service enabling employees to keep track of all retirement savings, believes the growing number of workers building up multiple funds is making it more difficult to keep track of total retirement savings.
This is highlighted by its research showing that just 11% of employees are confident they can accurately estimate the value of all their retirement savings and investments including their home.
Around 39% of employees believe they can roughly estimate the value of their total retirement fund but half admit they do not know how much they have invested.
Portus Consulting Commercial Director Steve Watson says: “Keeping track of retirement savings and investments is a challenge for most people but particularly difficult for employees with multiple funds.
“It is relatively encouraging that around half of all employees can accurately or at best roughly estimate how much they have saved or invested, but it is clear too many employees are in the dark about their retirement funds.
“There can be advantages in transferring pensions into one in terms of lower fees and better control, but in order to be able to make that judgement people need to be fully informed about how much they have.”
The research shows around 7% of employees admit to having no pension funds at all rising to 19% among those aged 18 to 24 and worryingly to 10% among those aged 55 to 64.
Portus’s online financial planning portal moneygym – which is accessible at work and at home around the clock – provides guidance on all aspects of retirement planning including tax and regulation as well as enabling users to track retirement savings including private and State pensions and other investments including property.
It aims to increase overall financial literacy levels and employee engagement with retirement planning and help staff to build up enough funds to retire at their target age. Employees can use the portal to outline scenarios on increasing pension contributions, for instance, and the impact on how they decide to take retirement income. They can retain access to the service if they leave their job.
Employees enter and update monthly expenses as well as property ownership or rental costs, debts or savings, and health data including exercise, smoking and alcohol intake. Life expectancy is calculated using the death data run against mortality tables.