05 February 2018

'Public faith in property investment shows need for pensions world to highlight value of 'invisible' employer pension contributions'

3 min read

Steve Webb
Royal London



The Office for National Statistics has today (5th February) published preliminary results from the latest wave of the Wealth and Assets Survey. One finding from the survey is a growing proportion of the population who believe that saving for retirement through property ‘makes the best use of money’, compared with a falling proportion who went for employer pensions. Of those interviewed between 2010 and 2012, 40% chose property rising to 49% of those interviewed between 2016 and 2017. By contrast, just 24% of those interviewed between 2010 and 2012 opted for employer pensions, falling to 22% for those interviewed most recently. 

Commenting, Steve Webb, Director of Policy at Royal London said:

"It is understandable that the public might imagine that property was the best way to save for retirement. Physical property is much more tangible than a pension, and pensions all too often attract negative headlines. But the reality is that saving through a workplace pension is a hugely effective use of money, not just because of generous tax breaks but because of the money that an employer will contribute. In many workplaces the employer contribution will double your money and sometimes more, and there are few investments that can match this. The problem is that the employer contribution is often ‘invisible’ to workers. The pensions world and employers need to do much more to communicate the value of the money that firms put in to workers’ pensions."

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About Royal London:

Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, with funds under management of £117 billion, 8.8 million policies in force and 3,745 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 June 2018.