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Knowledge of the pension system

  • Engelsk sammendrag av Fafo-rapport 2019:02
  • Ståle Østhus
  • 30. januar 2019

Studies have shown that knowledge of the pension system is generally low, though higher in older and high-income groups, in Norway and elsewhere. This report is based on results from three surveys from 2018 of employers, union representatives and workers. These results show that many employers, union representatives and workers are unsure when asked basic questions about their occupational pension schemes. Moreover, it is much more common to provide employees with information about pension schemes in larger workplaces than in smaller ones, and in workplaces where there are union representatives present.

The extent and breadth of information that union representatives give employees varies, and some of this variation can be attributed to differences across trade unions. Workers’ interest in and knowledge of occupational pension schemes are related to age and income level, older workers and workers in higher income groups being more interested and knowledgeable. There is also a strong, positive correlation between workers’ pension knowledge and interest and firm size. Therefore, some of the socioeconomic inequality in pension knowledge can be attributed to differences in firm size.

We conclude that knowledge of firm size and presence of union representatives are important in order to understand the variation in workers’ pension knowledge and interest. The results suggest that there is potential for reducing socioeconomic inequality in pension knowledge if more smaller firms give their employees more information about their pension schemes.

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