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The BBC's Graham Satchell
"50 percent of small businesses are still unaware of the new scheme"
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Sunday, 10 September, 2000, 01:40 GMT 02:40 UK
Workers 'fail to save for retirement'
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Starting young: But many 18-34 year-olds have no pension
More than a quarter of all workers are failing to put aside any money for retirement, according to a survey.

This means they will have to rely on the basic state pension, currently 67.50 a week for a single person, which is likely to be eroded over the years by inflation.

The survey was conducted among 974 adults by NOP Solutions for Abbey National in anticipation of the launch of the government's new stakeholder pension scheme in April next year.

When it comes into force all employers with more than five staff will be legally obliged to provide workers with access to a pension scheme.

However figures produced by Abbey National also reveal that 50% of all small firm owner-managers are still unaware that they have a statutory requirement to provide employees with access to a pension from October 2001 - six months after the start of the stakeholder scheme.

Young not saving

In addition nearly three-quarters (72%) of 18 to 24-year-olds say they know nothing about the forthcoming stakeholder pension and its benefits.

Younger workers are also least likely to be saving anything for their retirement, with 39% of 18 to 34-year-olds aware they should be saving but failing to do anything about it.

This is a matter for serious concern, according to an Abbey National spokesman, who said: "The sooner a pension is started the better.

"Figures calculated by Abbey National show that a 24-year-old worker who delays starting a pension for 10 years ends up paying an extra 53 per month - or an extra 19,716 if they wish to retire at 65 on an annual pension of 10,000."

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