Older workers shun workplace financial guidance

by Marc Shoffman from interactive investor |

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Younger workers take up financial help from employers at five times the rate of older ones, new research shows.

Older workers tend to overlook financial help provided by employers, while younger employees are most likely to, research has found.

Analysis by Close Brothers found that, before the coronavirus pandemic, around two thirds of UK employees said that their employer had provided guidance or advice on workplace pensions, shares, and benefits.  

But while 38% of 25-35 year olds said they would take advantage of this, only 8% of 55-64 year olds said the same.

Around two-thirds of the over-55s said they would be very unlikely to use it.

Overall, 11% said they had received guidance in the past 12 months, again falling among 55-64 year olds, this time to 6%.

There does seem to be some distrust about seeking financial advice or guidance at work, particularly among older employees.

The most popular source of financial guidance was personal finance websites, favoured by 50% of employees.

This was followed by family or friends and banks, which were used by 30% of respondents.

More than a quarter, 28%, said they would use government sources such as Pension Wise and 25% use a financial adviser.

Jeanette Makings, head of financial education at Close Brothers, says: “Whilst it’s encouraging to see that UK workers are likely to make the most of free financial guidance from personal finance websites as well as insight from their bank or financial provider, these are likely to be focused on specific products.

“It is important not to overlook the importance of employers providing accessible and targeted financial guidance across the full range of workplace benefits and personal finance issues to their employees.”

Men are more likely to use resources such as a financial adviser, their bank or a government organisation than women.

Similar research from Aegon has found almost three-quarters of employees say their employer does not offer any form of financial education in the workplace.

Linda Whorlow, managing director of workplace at Aegon UK says: “The workplace plays a key role in easing the financial worry of employees. 

“Financial education and awareness of what support is available through their employer is very important.

“Many employers are well positioned to support the financial wellbeing of their employees through the selection of workplace benefits they already offer, they just need to ensure that their employees know about them.”

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