By Darren Laverty, Sales and Marketing Director at Foster Denovo.

The pension freedom rules have been designed to give people more freedom. But by having more choice and freedom, decision making can be made more complex. People need to understand the products that are available to them, the optimum way of drawing the funds and any tax implications.

The government has recognised this, and stated individuals who will be affected by this will have access to free and impartial guidance (through Pension Wise). However, delivering it will be a huge task.

I firmly believe that these new pension rules make it imperative for people to understand the choices they have, and the implications of any actions they take.

Today, more than ever before, workplace financial education has become increasingly significant. I believe that the onus rests with employers to support their staff – not just with the pension reforms, but to help guide all staff when it comes to their financial futures.

At Secondsight, we are supporting large numbers of employers with financial education programmes and – interestingly – are now being approached by many keen to go into this area. Over the next few years, I believe we will see more and more employers providing this as an added benefit to staff.

A survey we undertook in October 2014 highlighted that 23 per cent of employees said financial education made them more loyal to their employer. This was significantly higher, at 43 per cent among the younger, 16-24, age bracket. Statistics like this should reinforce the need for employers to consider the value of introducing such a programme. It can be achieved for a relatively small cost, and employers should see it as an investment.

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