Flexible working tops the list for under 35s and women, while men want annual leave


According to new research from Fidelity International, young adults would rather work flexibly than prioritise pension. With the rise of flexible, mobile and remote working, this generation of under 35s would rather choose where and when they work than save into a company pension scheme.

The survey asked to choose their top three perks, over half (53%) of young adults want a job which allows flexible working, closely followed by a generous number of days off (46%), and a bonus (37%). All these benefits trump the pension with just one in three (29%) interested in what contributions their boss will make.

However, nearly two times as many workers aged over 55 (57%) say pension benefits are one of their top three job perks, as interest peaks in the run up to retirement.

Nationally, annual leave comes out top (53%), closely followed by flexible working (51%). Pension contributions come further down the pecking order, but are still considered an important benefit by 44% of Brits.

Richard Parkin, head of pensions policy at Fidelity International, said: “It’s perhaps not surprising that younger people don’t think about retirement saving when choosing a job but it could be costly not to do so. Making pension contributions at an early age is much more cost effective than leaving it until later life. Recent research from the Pensions Policy Institute shows that the cost of providing a pension nearly doubles when saving starts at 31 rather than 21.

“Think of your pension as a pay rise. If you save through a workplace pension, your employer will also contribute. Essentially it’s free money so why wouldn’t you take it? But some employers are far more generous than others so checking to see what deal you’re getting is important.

“While you might have got a salary increase on changing jobs, if your new employer is paying less in pension contributions than your current employer you may not be as well off in the long run as you thought.”

Overall, men value pensions more than women with the workplace benefit coming third for women (40%) and second for men (48%). However, flexible working scores highest for women (57%) while for men this benefit comes in third with annual leave topping the list of priorities.