Three in four employees ‘have never discussed financial wellbeing with boss’

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of employees have never discussed their financial wellbeing with their boss, a report has found.

Younger employees aged 25 to 34 are most likely to be willing to open up to their employer or line manager about their financial concerns, the “working lives” research from insurer Aviva found.

The next most likely age group are 18 to 24-year-olds.

Talking money with an employer appears to be one of the last workplace taboos

Emma Douglas, Aviva

Employees in midlife, aged 45 to 54, are the least likely to speak to their employers about financial concerns, the research indicated.

The next most reluctant age group are 55 to 64-year-olds, many of whom will be approaching retirement.

Emma Douglas, Aviva’s director of workplace savings and retirement, said: “Talking money with an employer appears to be one of the last workplace taboos.

“Young workers are clearly breaking down the stigma associated with talking to the boss about the ‘m’ word, but it is important that all generations of workers feel they can talk about their financial wellbeing with their employer.

“One of the areas that employers can offer important support is retirement savings. Pensions are designed to be a long-term investment and any decisions made today will echo throughout a person’s retirement.”

Employees are particularly likely to trust their own research (26%) to guide them on pensions and long-term savings, the report found.

This is followed by their pension scheme provider (19%) and then their employer, human resources (HR) or line manager (15%).

Of those employees eligible to join a workplace pension scheme provided by their employer, nearly a fifth (17%) said they do not know what proportion of their salary is paid into their pension.

There is also concern among employees that their pension will not provide them with the lifestyle they would like in retirement.

Less than a fifth (19%) of employees feel they will be able to retire comfortably on their workplace pension.

More than a third (34%) feel their workplace pension will simply not be enough.

As a result of automatic enrolment into workplace pensions, which started to be rolled out across the UK in 2012, employers must provide a pension to employees who meet the criteria to be eligible.

The minimum auto-enrolment contribution including employee and employer contributions and tax relief, is 8% of eligible earnings.

However, some employers offer higher matching contributions.

Aviva said it is important that employees understand the advantages and benefits of their workplace pension.

Ms Douglas said: “It is a shame that so many people who have a workplace pension and are worried about not being able to retire comfortably have never spoken to their manager about their concerns.

“This is an unusually tough time for people and the extent of financial hardship will be unique for everyone. It is more important than ever that employers encourage their people to talk to them about money worries, and employees take up any financial education or guidance their employer is able to offer.”

More than 1,000 employees and more than 200 employers were surveyed across Britain in April.

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