Three in four UK employees are experiencing work related stress, with especially young employees affected, Capita’s latest employee survey shows. The research also shows that although there were slightly more people enjoying improved financial conditions compared to those finding themselves in worse conditions compared to 2014, pensions remain a financial concern. Many pension savers are confused by pensions schemes and nearly half believe private pension schemes should be mandatory.
Capita recently released its third annual Employee Insight Report. The report drew on 3,000 interviews from employees around the UK. The aim of the report was to identify the financial wellbeing of the nation, and looks at employees’ attitudes towards pensions, retirement, auto-enrolment, benefits, savings and health in the workplace.
Improving work conditions
The report finds that, relative to last year’s survey, the financial wellbeing of employees has improved somewhat. In 2014, 38% of employees stated that they felt worse off in 2014 compared to 2013; while 27% said that they felt better off. In 2015, the results show that 28% feel better off while 26% say that they are worse off on 2014, a decrease of 12%. Particularly the younger generation is seeing improvement, with 42% of 16 to 34 year olds saying that their financial position has improved, compared to 19% of those 45 years and older.
In last year’s report, London was the only region in the UK that had more people feeling better off financially than worse. In this year’s report, London continues to show a strong positive sentiment with 33% saying they are better off compared to 2014, while South East (29%), South West (29%), East Midlands (30%), West Midlands (32%) and North West (27%) also have more people feeling better off than worse.
For some employees, life remains relatively hard. Almost a quarter (22%) of those surveyed, says that day-to-day expenses remain a struggle. Particularly young employees have difficulty. 29% of those between 25 and 34 struggle, relative to 9% of over 65 year olds. For 31% of employees, financial concerns led to them losing sleep. Of the 25 to 34 year olds, 39% are concerned enough about their financial well-being to toss and turn, while ‘only’ 22% of those above 55 lose sleep from worry.
The level of stress remains relatively high; 75% of employees state they felt stressed from work over the past twelve months. Females are more stressed (79%) than their male counterparts (71%). Again, especially younger employees are affected. Of those in the 16-24 band, 82% say they are stressed, relative to 68% the 55-64 band. Stress remains a serious concern for employees and a fifth (19%) of employees has taken time of work to deal with the stress.
According to Capita, many pension savers might find that their financial planning may not yet be up to scratch. One issue that many employees face is that they are underestimating their life expectancy by as many as 15 years*. Of employees surveyed, only 2.3% expect to make it to 100, while the statistical likelihood rests at 13.7%. A third (33%) of employees are concerned that they won’t be able to support themselves come retirement, with the 25-44 age band toning the most concern.
The survey too finds that many people lack the epistemic grasp to make adequate pension planning, with at issue the general lack of clarity for many. Half (50%) say that confusing and complicated terminology is inhibiting them from investing in their future, while 45% say that they would be open to investing more if they had a better grasp of pensions. More than half (52%) say they don’t know how much they should be saving. In addition, private pension schemes should considered a mandatory requirement by 47% of employees surveyed, with only 15% disagreeing with such schemes.