Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of global employees support auto-enrolment in workplace pension plans, according to a new report from the Aegon Centre for Longevity and Retirement and the Transamerica Centre for Retirement Studies.

The concept is particularly appealing to women (64 per cent), those aged between 20 and 29 (67 per cent) and aspiring savers (58 per cent). These figures suggest “automatic enrolment could help to turn many potential future savers into actual savers,” Aegon points out.

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In Canada, 72 per cent of employees approve of auto-enrolment at six per cent of their salary. When asked about higher contributions of eight per cent, two-thirds of respondents still support it.

Currently, 38 per cent of workers around the world don’t have any retirement strategy, and 58 per cent don’t have a back-up strategy, such as critical illness insurance.

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And, while workers are saving more today than they did in 2012, when the research was last conducted, respondents feel less personally responsible for financing their retirements, according to the survey. Canadian respondents believe the government should provide 40 per cent of retirement income, employer pensions should cover 26 per cent, and personal savings should fill in the remaining 34 per cent.

Aegon points out, however, that relying on government support isn’t always feasible, especially as lifespans increase and retirement ages do not. “In 2016, the new government in Canada indicated its intention to follow suit by reducing Canada’s retirement age,” Aegon wrote in the report.

“In contrast, the Dutch government has been increasing the age at which government retirement benefits will be paid from 65 to 66 in 2018 and 67 in 2021. As a consequence, the mean age at which Dutch workers expect to retire is now 67 compared to a global mean of 63 in the 15 countries [surveyed].”

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