The Pension Perception Gap


What do employees really think about pensions? How does this impact employers?


Latest data: Our recent study of more than 4,000 employees and 500 benefits decision-makers, uncovers the truth behind what employers and employees think about pensions and auto-enrolment. 


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Lady Barbara Judge“In a competitive work landscape where attracting and retaining talent can be life or death for a company, ensuring that your business offers the benefits that are important to employees is key.


This survey is one of the largest of its kind and a mine of useful information for employers, helping them keep their finger on the pulse and enabling them to cement an engaged workforce, which will ultimately drive their business forward.”

Lady Barbara Judge CBE,
Chairman hibob, Former Chairman, Pension Protection Fund


1. Attitudes to pensions

There’s a clear disconnect between the attitudes of employers and employees towards pensions.


Quotable stats:

  • 75% of employers say pensions auto-enrolment is ‘just another tax on my business’. Tweet
  • 66% of employers say they only pay the minimum pension contribution required. Tweet
  • 54% of employees say that pensions are their most important benefit. Tweet
  • 71% of millennial employees see a pension as a major part of their overall reward package. Tweet


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2. knowledge of pensions

Although employers don’t think that their staff understand pensions and auto-enrolment, two-thirds of employees say that they do.


Quotable stats:

  • 58% of benefits decision-makers say they don’t think employees understand pensions auto-enrolment. Tweet
  • 61% of benefits decision-makers believe that employees don’t care about it. Tweet
  • 67%of employees say they understand pensions a fair amount, quite well, or extremely well. Tweet


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3. Importance as a tool for attraction

quotable stats:

  • 27% of businesses think pensions are good for attracting talent. Tweet
  • 51% of employees saw pensions as an important or essential tool when choosing their current job. Tweet
  • 67% of employees see pensions as an important part of their overall renumeration package. Tweet


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How we know:

This data has been collected from two online surveys conducted between the 31st January and 6th February 2017 on behalf of hibob (UK) Ltd. One questionnaire was presented to 501 people responsible either solely or partially for the benefits decision making of their company, while a separate survey was given to 4,001 people employed on permanent contracts in the UK. When we mention ‘millennials’, we are referring to those currently aged 18-34.



Hi Bob (UK) Limited is not a qualified or certified financial adviser. We present the contents on an ‘as is’ basis and, to the maximum extent permitted by law, exclude all representations or warranties of any kind including, without limitation, warranties implied by statute. In addition, we do not represent or warrant that the information presented is accurate, complete or current. The contents do not provide legal, tax or financial advice and should not be used as your source for making any such decisions. We strongly recommend making all your financial decisions on the basis of professional and authorised advice.




Tamsin Fox-Davies is the Small Business Evangelist at bob (, and spends her time sharing ideas & best practice around SME HR & HRTech. You can find her on Twitter (@tamsinfd), at her desk, or curled up on the sofa with one of her four dogs and a mug of hot chocolate.


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