Survey Finds Rosy UK Retirement Outlook

December 14, 2002 ( - UK workers aren't worried about their pensions despite growing shortfalls in funds, according to a Mercer study.

More than 70% of the 3,500 UK workers surveyed during July and August think their pension benefits are ‘very good’ or ‘good’ and the same proportion say they can easily find answers to questions they have about benefits, including pensions , Dow Jones reported.

Only one in five employees said they are concerned about their pension with concern highest in manufacturing and lowest in the National Health Service, Mercer said.

There were differences based on length of service – only 60% of employees with less than two years’ service believe their pension plan is good, compared with almost 80% of those with over 15 years’ service, the Dow Jones story said.

The survey’s findings are at odds with warnings about insufficient retirement savings and the growing shift by companies from defined benefit to lower-cost defined contribution plans because of large pension deficits, Dow Jones said.

Employees are in a state of denial and don’t know how much they don’t know, according to Mercer’s Patrick Gilbert.

Pensions are inherently complex, and they have changed dramatically in recent times, ” Gilbert told Dow Jones. “The fact is that most employees are not well informed about their retirement income, and assume that things will somehow work out for the best.”