Survation Survey On Pensions Uncovers Huge Mistrust and Misunderstanding (UNITE)
Between the 2nd and 9th of November, Survation interviewed 1058 voters by telephone on the topic of pensions. The survey uncovered huge feelings of mistrust and misunderstanding about pensions. It was clear that Conservative voters as much as any other group did not trust the government’s affordability assertions when it came to pensions. The poll surely gives the clearest indication yet that the public are far from happy about proposed government changes to public sector pensions. Full data can be viewed here;
Comment from Damian Lyons Lowe; “The slogan “We Are The 99%” has become a rallying cry for many disparate groups angry at Governments across the world. An incredible 99% of the 1058 voters we questioned do not fully trust the Government when it comes to the issue of pension affordability. This survey also uncovers a highly sceptical workforce feeling either worried, angry or helpless about potential negative pension changes and feel that perceived well off citizens are not pulling their weight in these difficult economic times”
1) 66% of people that expressed a view considered a Pension to be the MOST important benefit an employer can offer (excluding “don’t knows”)
2) 34% of the workforce is not currently saving for their retirement. 56% of those who are not saving said they are not currently doing so because they “cannot afford to save for my pension at the moment”
3) Trade Unions are the most trusted body when it comes to providing accurate information on the affordability of public sector pensions* 33% of the public trust them with a positive score (4 or 5) when asked how much they trusted various bodies on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being a lot and 1 not at all.
The positive scores (4 or 5) for the other bodies tested were:
Think Tanks: 19% / Newspapers / TV: 13% / Business Leaders: 13% / The Government: 9% / Politicians: 5% *Excluding don’t knows
4) On this basis Trade unions are 7 times more trusted than politicians when it comes to providing accurate information on the affordability of public sector pensions, and 3.5x more than the Government in general.
5) 99% of respondents do not fully trust the Government (rate them a 5 out of 5 on trust) when it comes to providing accurate information on the affordability of public sector pensions. In addition, 99% of those who voted Conservative do not fully trust the Government (rate them a 5 out of 5 on trust) when it comes to providing accurate information on the affordability of public sector pensions.
6) The public believe that Politicians and CEOs are not pulling their weight when it comes to making sacrifices in this era of austerity. 85% believe MPs are not doing enough; 86% Cabinet Ministers and 86% Chief Executives.
7) In contrast, the public believe Nurses, Teachers and Refuse Collectors are already doing enough. Only 9% think Nurses are not doing enough; Teachers 17%, Refuse Collectors 17%.
6) When asked “If those in charge of your pension scheme moved to increase the contributions you made to your pension scheme whilst also lowering the amount you would be paid on retirement would you..”
Of those that expressed a view (excluding “don’t knows”), 71% of those polled would take some sort of action in response to the above question. 40% of those who would take some sort of action would opt for lawful industrial action. 5% of people believe legal action is the right response to those in charge of a pension scheme changing the terms of the agreement and 46% would leave the scheme want to leave the scheme.
7) When asked what they felt a reasonable pension income for an employee who had worked for 25 years with a final salary of £25,000, 71% of people thought the figure should be between £10k and 20k a year. The true figure on the current proposals would be around £10,000
8 ) Some in the media warn that “Taxpayers cannot afford to fund the latest gold-plated pension deal for public sector workers, business leaders have warned, however, only 8% of people would describe a £6,000 a year pension as ‘gold-plated’– which is the average public sector pension.
9) 74% of people felt that the proposed changes to public sector pensions will make the current issue of pensioner poverty worse than it currently is. Only 5% thought it would improve matters.
Data were analysed and weighted by Mark Lovelace and presented by Tom Harris of Survation.
For further information please contact; Damian Lyons Lowe CEO Survation Ltd 020 7490 4094