Acevo survey reveals low take-up of pensions among charity staff

Most managers believe their staff will have to retire on less than half of their pre-retirement incomes

Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive of Acevo
Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive of Acevo

Only 3 per cent of charities believe the majority of their staff are saving enough for their retirement, according to a survey of Acevo members.

The Acevo Pensions Survey shows that 68 per cent of respondents said most of their employees would not be able to retire on half of their pre-retirement incomes, which is regarded as a reasonable standard of living after people retire. Twenty-nine per cent of those that responded said they did not know.

The poll of 349 Acevo members, conducted with pensions specialist Foster Denovo, showed that charity employees were contributing only 4 per cent of their basic salaries to pensions on average - down from 5 per cent last year.

It said that 79 per cent of charities offered their staff some form of pension, but that many of these had low employee take-up. Of those charities offering pensions, more than a fifth had less than 20 per cent of employees signed up.

Just over half of all respondents said they had considered their strategy for dealing with pension auto-enrolment legislation, which comes into force in 2012 and will make it compulsory to sign up all employees to at least a basic pension scheme. But 8 per cent said they were unaware of the changes to the law.

Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive of Acevo, said the survey had thrown up some worrying trends, particularly the low take-up of pensions among charity employees. But he said that the sector had the knowledge and the insight to make the necessary changes.

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