The government needs to revisit the balance of auto-enrolment (AE) contributions in its upcoming review, according to NOW: Pensions.
The firm warned nearly a quarter (24%) of 2,004 people it surveyed between 12-15 July would "definitely" or "might" opt out of AE when their contributions are higher than their employers'.
Currently, employees contribute 1% to their pensions, of which 0.2% is tax relief, and the employer matches them. However, in April 2019, when total contributions reach 8%, employees will put in 5% (1% tax relief), while employers provide just 3%.
However, 74% of those who said they might opt out also said they would "definitely" or "probably" continue to save into the pension if contributions are reversed, so employers provide 5%.
Chief executive Morten Nilsson said the government should consider how planned contribution rates could impact on the success of the policy in next year's review.
He said: "At the moment, the message is strong and clear - you pay in and your employer matches it. But as contributions increase, employees will find themselves paying in more than their employer and this inequality could drive opt outs.
"With the 2017 review of AE just around the corner, the government should consider rebalancing contributions for a more equitable split to encourage a greater proportion to continue to save.
"Losing savers at this stage could be damaging and have long-term consequences for the success of the policy."
The survey also found two-thirds of savers believed the 8% contribution rate would be adequate, while 21% said it should be increased.
The Department for Work and Pensions last month delayed raising contribution rates by six months, in order to bring increases in line with the financial year.
Planned contribution rates
|Now||April 2018||April 2019|
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