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Employee attitudes to pensions: evidence from focus groups

Byrne, Alistair and Rhodes, Bill (2006) Employee attitudes to pensions: evidence from focus groups. Pensions: An International Journal, 11 (2). pp. 144-152. ISSN 1478-5315

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This paper presents evidence from a series of focus groups where pensions issues were discussed with the employees of a listed distribution company. The focus group format allows the exploration of the employees' views in detail and for their thoughts to be presented in their own words. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the employees were found to have quite limited knowledge about their own scheme and about pensions in general. They have a strong desire for more information and advice about pensions, ideally on a face-to-face basis. There were mixed views about the role of pensions in recruitment, especially for employees younger than 40, and concerns that managers were unable to promote the benefits on offer. As regards the changes introduced in the Pensions Act 2004, the employees view the Pension Protection Fund as a valuable measure, but see little point in increasing the proportion of member-nominated trustees.