Pension schemes are underperforming and employees are concerned about where their money is invested, according to Portus Consulting.
More than one in five (21%) are worried about the returns generated from their pension fund over the past two years, and believe this may be deterring others from entering the scheme.
The view is evidenced by a further finding that 5% of employees have not joined their company's scheme due to concerns about how their money is invested.
Portus argued more communications and guidance could increase the number of active scheme members, which hit an all-time high of 11.1 million last year.
Just 26% of employees surveyed said they received guidance or advice on retirement planning at work. Some 11% had one-to-one meetings with advisers and 15% accessed online support through their employer.
The conclusions came from a Consumer Intelligence survey of 1,043 UK employees in August, commissioned by Portus.
Portus's commercial director Steve Watson said employers should provide more guidance to their workers in order to increase engagement with the scheme.
He said: "Action to tackle the UK's problem with retirement saving including workplace auto-enrolment is definitely working with pension scheme membership at an all-time high.
"But the missing link is that employees are being left to their own devices and significant numbers are disappointed with pension savings while others are being deterred from even starting to save.
"Employers can play a role in helping to provide guidance on long-term retirement planning but clearly need support in delivering it as the costs can deter employees as well as employers."
Just over a quarter of employees (27%) said they would welcome guidance from their employer, while a third said they would pay for independent financial advice.
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