Estimates suggest that nearly 7 million people in the UK are not saving enough for their retirement. Putting a little aside (or indeed a lot as increasingly that is evidenced as what is needed) to save for the future is hard and getting harder. The retail price index evidences true inflation at 4.6% in the UK. The cost of living is rising, as the economy improves inflation will increase and the cost of living will rise again. The average full-time salary in the UK is c£25,000 per annum. How and where can you find that little extra you need to save for retirement? Whose responsibility is it? Yours? Your employers? The Government?
We are sitting on a pensions time bomb with an ageing population that the state can no longer afford. Something must be done. According to a government review published today, every UK business should be made to offer a company pension scheme from 2012.
Already small business groups are coming out against such a move, arguing that the burden on business is too great at such a fragile time.
Rather than dismiss this out of hand as too costly, this should be looked upon as a great opportunity for Employers of all shapes and sizes to really engage with their employees. As the economy recovers, the war for talent will heat up. Those employers who truly value their employees, who truly understand their employees wants, wishes, needs, ambitions, motivations, reasons for turning up each day will be the ones who thrive. How many employers regularly survey their staff to ask them what they want in a benefits plan?
The Government tells us we need to put something aside for tomorrow and they are right. Rather than Government impose such regulation, why not let the people decide what it is that they want to be rewarded with for turning up each day? Ask them. You might just be surprised by the response.