The research found 92% of firms contributed above the 1% statutory employer minimum level, only 5% or less of eligible workers opted out across two-thirds of businesses. Meanwhile, nearly half said the pension freedoms had led to increased employee engagement.
The firms were asked to provide a percentage for how engaged they believed their employees were. This was broken down into four categories; very engaged; fairly engaged; not very well engaged; and not at all engaged. The CBI and Aegon then calculated an average percentage based on the respondent's answers.
It appears that - based on average calculations - the respondents believed that younger employees were less engaged with their pension.
For example, respondents said 36% of employees over the age of 50 were 'very engaged', on average, compared with just over half who were fairly engaged. Meanwhile, on average, respondents said 13% of their employees were 'not very well engaged with their pension'.
Of employees aged between 35 and 49, respondents said 13% were very engaged with their pension, compared with 61% who are 'fairly engaged'. Within this age group, firms said just under a quarter were not very well engaged with their pension on average.
Meanwhile, respondents said for their employees under the age of 34, just 6% were very engaged, compared with 42% who were fairly engaged. Among this age group, firms said under half (45%) of their employees were not very well engaged with their pension on average.
Higher salaries also had an impact. For example, pundits said for their employees who earned over £125,000 per annum, more than half (54%) were very engaged with their pension, compared with just 3% of those who earned under £13,000, and a fifth of those earning between £45,000 and £75,000.
The study also looked at the ways firms currently engage their employees.
Some 63% of respondents said pensions often formed part of an employee's induction process, while 60% said they included guidance from an external provider.
Meanwhile, 54% of firms said they sign-post staff to publically available pension guidance, just over half of firms offered a digital information portal to staff, while under half of firms delivered in-house webinars or seminars.
Hargreaves Lansdown head of policy Tom McPhail says in a lot of cases, more value could be extracted in these processes.
"For example, when it comes to guidance from an external provider, it's a question of how well that guidance is delivered, and the extent to which the employer and pension provider are working in harmony to deliver that effectively.
"So, if 54% of employers sign post to external advice and/or guidance - how is that sign posting being done?"
Aegon workplace investing managing director Paul Bucksey added that some employers are already going the extra mile to support their workforce in getting their pensions on the right track.
"But what remains clear is that whether you choose to hold roadshows, workshops or webinars, offer online financial planning tools or workplace financial advice, it needs be done regularly, as part of a wider financial awareness strategy.
"Recruitment, to long-term planning and regular action will help employees reach a point where they can afford to retire."
Engaging better with the workforce on pensions is not a nice-to-have but"absolutely fundamental to the success of workplace pension schemes and well-funded retirements for workers", according to CBI managing director Neil Carberry.
With this in mind, what steps can be taken to drive member engagement?
The study also found 66% of firms said educating staff about the benefits of saving through workplace pensions can influence employee engagement, while 58% said wider financial education was needed.
Some 63% agreed that using simpler language and minimising jargon in pension communication could help influence employee engagement, and over half (54%) said technology could be a valuable aid to communication and engagement"if used properly".
Just under half of pundits said individualising pension communications as far as possible could help influence employee engagement.
McPhail said:"All methods have a role to play, not just one, as the techniques used depends on the workplace's financial literacy and numeracy skills.
"Tools such as apps, email communications, smart email with click through, direct human engagement, seminars, and guidance sessions are vital."
He added that the employer and provider must agree on a strategy, measure the results and test various methods in a continual manner.
"Engagement doesn't happen by accident. Schemes must actively seek out it out. The pension provider plays an important role in engagement as it has more experience in communications, and can really make a difference.
"The employer must work with provider to deliver employee communications. The provider actually benefits here too, because if members increase their contributions, when they retire, they are more likely to keep their money with that provider because they've looked after them."
It is also arguable that perhaps more employer engagement by the pensions industry is the key to increased employee engagement.
The People's Pension head of policy Andy Tarrant echoed this, and added:"Not only could it help ensure that phasing does not lead to a rise in opt-outs, it may benefit employers by helping them to recruit and retain staff."
Amid fears opt-outs will increase as AE contributions rise to 5% on 6 April, and then 8% next year, with employees taking on most of the cost, getting engagement right has never been more important.
More needs to be done to drive engagement among members, as businesses lack confidence that employees are engaged with their pensions.
Based on this research, more attention must be paid to younger and lower paid employees - due to the disparities in engagement levels across the different groups.
Furthermore, there is no one 'magic solution' to driving employee engagement, and providers must work with employers to solve the issues.
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