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‘Workplace communication is key’

Aviva has warned the Government there is still an automatic enrolment “awareness gap” among employees just months before the reforms are due.

The UK’s biggest employers will need to enrol all eligible employees into a company pension scheme from October.

The reforms will then be rolled out to medium and small firms between 2012 and 2017. The Department for Work and Pensions has been handed £11m by the Treasury to communicate reforms to consumers this year.

Research carried out as part of Aviva’s Working Lives report suggests that 70 per cent of employers are aware of the upcoming changes while 68 per cent of employees were found to have little or no knowledge of auto-enrolment.

The report also found opt-outs could be “significant”, with 37 per cent of the 2,000 employees surveyed saying they may quit their pension scheme.

The report says: “Businesses, Government and the pensions industry across Britain have significant work to do in encouraging employees to start putting some of their hard-earned cash aside for their retirement.”

Hargreaves Lansdown head of pensions research Tom McPhail says: “You would not necessarily expect employee awareness to be high at this stage.

“The key test will be whether the pensions industry can rise to the challenge and deliver good workplace communication to employees. Without this, the whole project is likely to fall flat on its face.”

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