Nearly one in three older workers are missing out on free money from their employer for their retirement by opting out of a company pension, according to new research.

Data published this week by Nest, the state-backed workplace pension scheme, found that 28 per cent of over 60s had opted out of the company plan, after being automatically enrolled by their employer.

In doing so they are missing out on the extra contribution from their employer with every £1 that a worker contributes to their pension doubles to £2 (less charges) – with the extra £1 coming from their employer and the Inland Revenue tax relief.

“There is no other savings product which doubles your money on day one,” said Ros Altmann, a pensions expert and Older Workers Business Champion.

“Those who opt out are rejecting ‘free’ money.”

In contrast the survey found the under-thirties much keener to stay in their company pension plan, with only 5 per cent opting out after being automatically enrolled by their employer.

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