Britons digitally ditching pension plans

Nov. 14, 2012 at 2:30 PM
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LONDON, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Technologically-minded Britons say they've found a new use for their smartphone apps: opting out of Britain's new national pension program.

Under laws that took effect last month, large companies have to enroll their workers into a pension scheme automatically, after which it is up to members to opt out if they wish, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Many employees automatically enrolled in the program who want to opt out are using the program's smartphone apps to do so because they don't trust administrators to follow manual requests, one pensions executive said.

Adrian Boulding, the pensions strategy director at a company that provides many of the pensions offered by companies under auto-enrollment, said workers were much more ready to communicate with their pension scheme via digital channels than his company had expected.

The biggest surge in members seeking information on the pensions -- and opting out of them -- had been via handheld devices like smartphones and tablets, he said.

"Feedback from members opting out digitally was that this was the only way they could feel sure that the opt-out really happened," Boulding said. "I doubt that many pension companies guessed that the trigger for self-service would be distrust of the provider or employer to manually process the opt-out."

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