Pandemic and pensions – savers are getting younger

woman with coin

The pandemic has positively changed people’s attitudes towards finances, driving a shift towards saving for the future – particularly among younger generations.

This is the conclusion drawn from research, undertaken by workplace pension and savings provider Cushon, which found over half of employees say the pandemic has made them more aware of the importance of saving and only one in ten feel they can’t afford to put money aside at present.

And the research also shows that half would be more likely to save if their employer set it up for them, or if it came out of their salary directly – like national insurance contributions.

Perhaps more enlightening is that more than six in ten people would stay in a workplace savings scheme if their employer automatically put them in. This increases to nearly seven in ten if the employer contributes too. Whilst two in ten are not sure what they would do, only around one in ten would definitely come out of the scheme – a very similar opt-out rate to pensions.

 “It’s great to see that attitudes towards saving are slowly changing for the good

Ben Pollard

These trends are even clearer among the younger generation, often thought of as focusing more on the here and now. Those aged 18-24 are now twice as likely to say they are thinking about their future finances than just focusing on today. In fact 44 per cent of this age group say they saved more than ever since March 2020 – saving almost £3,000 on average.

Ben Pollard, Cushion CEO said: “It’s great to see that attitudes towards saving are slowly changing for the good, particularly among young people. But there is still much more that could be done to support those who aren’t in this mindset.

“Similar to pensions prior to auto enrolment, it’s clear that inertia plays a big part. We believe that the Government should look to allow employers to automatically enrol employees into workplace saving schemes albeit with safeguards in place, such as education around saving versus debt repayment.

“We know from our research that the appetite is there among employees and, even without an employer contribution, the majority would remain in a scheme. In the meantime, employers should think about setting up workplace savings schemes as part of their benefits offering and even consider contributing.”

The findings were part of a whitepaper available here