Maritime workers have ‘alarming’ lack of pensions awareness

Maritime industry workers have an “alarming lack of awareness and understanding” of their pension provisions, research from Ensign has revealed.

A survey released by the mastertrust today, 25 May 2018, found that while four out of five respondents see workplace pensions as “very important”, only 42 per cent know how much they are paying and just a third know how much they need for a decent retirement.

Furthermore, over half of respondents “have no idea” how much they are paying in charges, and a huge 41 per cent were unaware of the tax relief on their pension contributions.

Ensign chairman, Rory Murphy, said: “This research reveals a potential scandal in the making. Workers are clearly aware that saving for retirement is a critical issue, but lack the tools to make informed decisions about how best to achieve this.

“This is a toxic cocktail which could lead to poverty in retirement for thousands of workers, and as such is a critical issue for our industry. Doing nothing is not an option.”

Ensign also warned that maritime employers could be missing out on top talent by “underestimating the importance of pensions” in their benefits package, with over half seeing pensions as “not very” or only “moderately” important.

Ensign CEO, Andrew Waring, said: “This research represents a wake-up call for employers in the shipping and maritime sector. It illustrates an alarming disparity between the industry’s employers and their workers in their attitudes to retirement provision, with employers worryingly slow to recognise the importance of pensions to their staff.

“The message from these findings is clear: employers who downplay the importance of pensions risk losing out in the battle for talent.”

Despite this, the research found that employers see recruitment and retention of staff as their biggest HR challenge.

The survey also found that less than a third are paying enough, while just 3 per cent think they are paying too much.

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