Employees are much more confident now about their pensions than they were at the end of last year, according to a survey out on Wednesday.

The latest workplace pensions survey from the National Association of Pension Funds shows that employee confidence in pensions was plus 11 per cent at the end of September this year.

At the end of 2008 it was plus one per cent on the index, which measures the difference between employees who are confident about pensions and those who are not.

However, this is still not as high as the level recorded in September 2008, when confidence was 22 per cent on the index.

Pensions took a huge knock last year as stock markets tumbled, with some pension funds losing up to a third of their value. Employees were forced to delay retirement or settle for a lower income for life if they bought an annuity with their depleted pension pot.

Many investors were turned off saving into a pension altogether, prompting pension consultants to warn that people were putting their retirement income at risk.

But the NAPF claims that pensions “remain a priority” for employees. Over eight in 10 surveyed said they would continue to save into a pension at work.

It also said pensions are still the most popular employee benefit, ahead of bonuses, flexible working and holiday leave.

The NAPF holds its annual conference today and has said it will send a “very clear message” to politicians that they need to take pensions seriously.

The industry body last month launched a new pensions quality mark for defined contribution workplace schemes, which is awarded to companies providing among the best retirement benefits for its employees.

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