Eight out of ten 18-29-year-olds dont understand pensions and most would prefer to save money to buy their first home rather than for their retirement, a Barnett Waddingham poll has found.
Its Helping Hands survey of over 850 people measures generational attitudes and perspectives towards saving among three different age groups: 18-20 year olds, 30-49 year olds and 50+ year olds.
Of these, the firm said the youngest group appeared most 'disengaged' with saving, with 81% saying they do not understand pensions and 40% saying they have never heard of auto-enrolment.
A third of this age group said they had no pension savings at all.
The survey also found that three quarters of 30-45 year olds do not understand pensions and the majority (70%) cite paying off their mortgage as a more important financial pressure.
The 50+ age group appeared the most informed, with 80% aware of the pension freedoms announced in this year's Budget. However, two-thirds said they do not properly understand their retirement options.
Commenting on the findings, Damian Stancombe, head of workplace health and wealth at Barnett Waddingham, said employers and pension trustees needed to change the way their communicate with each generation.
'To truly engage, they can no longer communicate collectively across generations when there are particular concerns that will be missed without communicating to individual age groups.
'It is telling that 18-29-year-olds rated saving for a house and clearing debt significantly above building a pension. A number of survey respondents commented that they didn't see the point in building a pension when they have existing debt to contend with.
'Ultimately true saving begins with debt management. To tackle the issue of engaging this age group with pension saving, new strategies to help the young clear debt need to be considered by both the government and employers.'