Industry insiders fear that awareness of auto-enrolment remains alarmingly low.
Worryingly for the Department for Work and Pensions, two thirds of Pensions Buzz respondents rate public awareness as low or extremely low. Just 6% believe levels of awareness are high or very high.
Question: Almost six months after the launch of DWP's 'I'm in' campaign, how would you rate public awareness of auto-enrolment? (where 1= extremely low, 5= extremely high)
It was generally felt that the issue did not have a high profile outside the industry with the onus being on employers to get the message out. Several people said the advertising campaign had done little or nothing to educate the public.
A critic of the campaign said: "The ‘I'm in' people were the wrong people to use as Karren Brady has said she does not have a pension and Nick Hewer was too old to be eligible."
Some felt there had been too few adverts to have an impact, while others doubted whether people actually took in the content of them.
"It is human nature not to notice until the first contribution is deducted from your payslip," explained a respondent. "In fact most people won't notice till the seventh or eighth payslip. "
Another contributor added: "Most of the people that I have spoken to are not interested. Unfortunately, we live in a culture of 'live for today and to hell with tomorrow, we will sort it out when it happens'."
A lot of contributors drew a clear distinction between awareness and understanding, with the latter lagging behind the former.
"Public seem to be aware but details are getting hazy without the constant reminder," was one verdict.
But there were some who thought the message was getting out there. One optimistic soul said "anyone with any interest in pensions" must be aware by now.
Drawing on some positive personal experience, one contributor said: "Twelve months away from when our firm undergoes auto-enrolment and staff are already asking questions about it."
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