Unexpected opposition to compulsory pension contribution

Tuesday, 31 August 2004 12:00

Forcing employers or employees to contribute to pension schemes is more widely opposed than was first thought.

Previously polls suggested that 70 per cent of the population were in favour of requiring employers to add money to a pension scheme.

However, new research from the ABI (Association of British Insurers) suggests that these high levels of support crumble when the full impact on wages and salaries is explained.

The head of pensions and savings at the ABI Joanne Segars, said: “This research shows that the argument for compulsion in pension saving is not as black and white as it first appears.”

“Once people start to understand the implications of compulsion and in particular realise that compulsion has to be paid for and is not simply ‘free money’, the arguments become less clear cut.”

She added: “Even supporters of compulsion tend to shy away from the suggestion that they should contribute more than they do at present.”

Of the various proposals canvassed, a system of compulsory employer and employee contributions was consistently the most popular.

Other key findings included the fact that 42 per cent of the population would support compulsion that is at or below their current level of contribution, but only one in four people would like it to affect them personally.

The research comes from the ABI’s paper ‘Compulsory pensions – an analysis of public attitudes’, the first in a series looking at pensions.

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