Desperately seeking retirement benefits

Published  07 November 2022
   3 min read
  • When it comes to taking a new job, work-life balance is the biggest influence on people’s decision (82%) followed closely by overall salary (80%) with pension arrangements (65%) high on the list
  • Perhaps as a direct result of auto enrolment, pensions are more important to job hunters than career progression
  • Employers face the challenge of a fluid labour market with high staff turnover - more than one in-five under 25s have already worked for five or more employers

According to new research from life and pensions mutual, Royal London, company pension arrangements are more of a priority for those applying for a new job than future career progression.

While the most important consideration for job seekers in the UK is work-life balance (82%), followed by salary (80%) and the commute (70%), pension arrangements (65%) rank fourth on the list of importance. This is despite the fact that, similar to basic salary, details of the workplace pension plan are often not included on the job advert.

It’s a clear signal to employers that including the total reward package, both monetary and non-monetary, is a good move. Even more so in the current environment where employers face not only a more fluid labour market, where job rotation sees workers moving jobs more frequently, but also the lowest unemployment figures in nearly 50 years.

Attracting and retaining talent in a competitive landscape

The challenge for employers to attract and retain the right candidates is clear, as the concept of a job for life has well and truly had its day. The research shows more than one in-five under 25s have already worked for five or more employers. In fact, just 8% of 18-24-year olds expect to be with their first employer for more than five years, moving jobs much more frequently than previous generations.

The generational shift can also be seen in the demands of workers. Younger people place greater importance on flexible working patterns. Seven in 10 (71%) of 18–34-year-olds see flexible working patterns as important or vital when applying for a new job, compared to three-fifths (62%) of 35-54-year-olds and half (49%) of those 55 and over.

From an employer’s perspective advertising details of the workplace pension can be key to attracting and retaining talent. Research from the online job website Indeed, found that less than half (49%) of job adverts in February 2022 listed pensions as a benefit.*

Employers may want to consider being more upfront with details on their pension arrangements in future, even if they’re just providing the statutory minimum contribution.

Clare Moffat, pensions expert at Royal London, said:

"Faced with a competitive job market, businesses are having to compete hard to attract the best talent and employers need to make themselves as attractive as possible.

"While workers are most likely to prioritise work-life balance, it’s clear that pension benefits are an important factor that feature surprisingly high up on the recruitment radar. To help tackle skill shortages, organisations need to tune in to the components workers value most when changing jobs. Shining more of light on the benefit of a pension could help differentiate them in a competitive job market and secure the best candidates.

"Many employers already work hard at improving an understanding of pensions among their workers, but our research shows that people want to know the level of commitment even before they start their first day."

For further information please contact:

Neil Cameron, PR Manager

Notes to editor

Royal London partnered with independent research agency Cicero/amo to undertake a nationally representative survey of 3,042 adults in the UK. Fieldwork was conducted between 13 – 24 May 2022.

Royal London has published a new report - 'The Future of Auto Enrolment', to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the introduction of Automatic Enrolment.

*A review of 400 job listings (by online job postings website Indeed) across marketing, tech, insurance, and customer service sectors, found that less than half (49%) of job adverts in February 2022 listed pensions as a benefit.

About Royal London

Royal London is the largest mutual life insurance, pensions and investment company in the UK, with assets under management of £150 billion, 8.8 million policies in force and 4,262 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 June 2022. Learn more at

More press releases you might like