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Most 'unaware' of pension reform

More than half of workers do not know about important reforms being made to pensions next year when employees will be automatically enrolled into workplace schemes, new research has shown.

Fewer than a third of those aged between 18 and 24 working in private firms and the voluntary sector were aware of the changes, revealed a survey of 2,000 workers by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Older workers and those in management posts were most aware of the auto-enrolment, which CIPD said was the biggest reform to pensions for a century.

Charles Cotton of CIPD said: "These findings suggest that both the Government and employers need to take a nuanced approach to communicating pension reforms to employees. With less than a year to go, employee awareness is generally quite low.

"From our survey we can see the greatest challenge to communicating the reforms is among the young. A more targeted effort in communicating the changes to this group is needed to ensure they understand how the reforms will directly benefit them.

"The danger is that a cheap and cheerful one-size-fits-all communication approach could end up costing the Government more in the long term through a lower understanding and appreciation of retirement savings."

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: "We know that many people find pensions confusing and that can stop them from saving. We have already published a language guide to make pensions jargon-free and easy to understand so people don't stop at the first hurdle.

"We are working with industry and consumer organisations on a substantial communications campaign to ensure people are aware and understand how automatic enrolment can help them secure their future."

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