Evaluation Scotland Wales
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The New Social Contract Shaping a retirement ready workforce

Evidence type: Insight i


The report explores the role of employers in helping workers navigate their working lives and prepare for retirement, a role that has become more salient due to the pandemic.

Medical advances mean we are living longer than ever before; at the same time the concept of a ‘job for life’ is a thing of the past. The phasing out of defined benefit retirement plans means individuals have to shoulder much more responsibility for funding their retirement than ever before and many are not fully equipped to do so.

The study

The report is an extension of an existing report, Aegon’s global research report ‘The New Social Contract: Age-Friendly Employers’. There are no details given in this report about the survey, the Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey 2020, on which the report is based. The report also includes data from a similar survey conducted in 2018 as well as from other publications, primarily from the Office for National Statistics.

Aegon is a provider of long-term savings, investments, pension solutions and protection products.

Key findings

The authors make some recommendations for employers:

  • Reviews: Employers should regularly review workplace benefits to ensure they are effective and are flexible to changing needs. For example, by conducting company surveys.
  • Awareness: Increase awareness and promote the benefits available to workers to close the knowledge gap
  • Overcome barriers: Build an engaged and loyal workforce by working with employees to overcome barriers to saving habitually
  • Advice: Offer professional advice services to help workers create a concrete retirement action plan and, if feasible extend advice services to all workers regardless of employment status.
  • Facilitate contributions: Educate and inform workers on what their current savings levels will mean for them in retirement to facilitate increased levels of employee contribution to defined contribution pension plans.

Points to consider

  • Methodological strengths/weaknesses: There are no details given of the survey method, sample size or sampling approach, nor of the way that questions were framed, so it is hard to comment.
    • The report is published by a commercial provider of pensions.
  • Generalisability/ transferability: The study relates to employers in the UK, and is probably conducted amongst UK consumers, but the recommendations around pension provision are general and would be applicable in other countries
  • Relevance: The role of the employer in retirement planning is topical and important, particularly in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The study will be of use to anyone with an interest in consumer decision making around savings and debt.
    • Aimed at employers, but likely to be of interest to employees too.

Key info

Client group
Year of publication
United Kingdom
Contact information