Up to 95% of young and middle-aged employees do not feel confident that they will reach their retirement saving goal and are looking to their employers for help, according to a survey by State Street Global Advisers.
The report, published today, focused on attitudes toward retirement, pension planning habits and current savings level, polling 1,000 UK adults between the ages of 22 and 65.
It found that more than half of 22- to 36-year-olds would feel incentivised to save more if their employer's contribution rate increased.
And almost half (45%) of those surveyed who say they are not confident in their pension provision blame poor schemes, insufficient time and a lack of existing savings.
Nigel Aston, managing director and head of UK DC at State Street said: 'One year into auto-enrolment, it is clear that a substantial number of people are looking for help to reach retirement readiness. Currently, [young people] see little value in investing in a workplace pension, and [are] looking elsewhere to secure a retirement income.'
'We need to learn from the investment products that are attracting [younger people's] attention,' he said.
'Many of them communicate the benefits and ease of investing, and we need to help scheme sponsors pass on the same messages about defined contributions.'
Aston observed that the research showed that employers occupy a position of 'real trust' with their staff and can use that relationship to drive better workplace savings outcomes.
The survey also found that nearly 60% of the younger respondents would rather invest in property and increase personal investments in order to generate a retirement income. However, 50% of all the adults surveyed said they would prefer to invest in ISAs in order to generate retirement income. The firm said young people have the lowest level of understanding of how their savings are invested. Only a third of young people claim they have an understanding of their default fund compared to 54% across all ages.
The survey revealed that 70% of young people contribute less than 6% to their DC fund, while over 80% of the same demographic have no plans to change the amount they contribute within in the next year. As such, only 1 in 5 households with young and middle-aged adults have less than £5,000 currently saved towards their retirement.
Aston said: 'These figures should galvanise the pensions industry into building the next generation of default funds. Unless we build better solutions and work in lock-step with employers to increase engagement in workplace pensions, auto-enrolment will have failed.'