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Third of Britons do not understand their pension plan

A third (32%) of UK adults with a pension do not know how it works or where it is being held, according to new research.

Over half 964%) of people with a pension have never sought any form of financial advice, according to a new survey. Over a quarter (28%) said they would like to seek financial advice but believed it would be too expensive.

The majority (84%) of UK adults surveyed by retirement specialist My Pension Expert had a pension, with people putting an average of 3.8% of their income towards their pension each month.

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Almost half (48%) of those saving for a pension would prefer not to engage with their pension and let their employer manage it.

Almost half (44%) of respondents also admitted to finding retirement finance very complicated.

The Coronavirus pandemic added pressure on retirement finances, with almost one in eight (12%) of people surveyed having already withdrawn from their pension without seeking financial advice. A similar number (13%) had moved part or all of their pension pot into a higher-risk investment in an attempt to increase its value.

Andrew Megson, executive chairman at My Pension Expert, said: “Retirement finance is a complicated subject, with lots of rules, regulations and products to navigate. That said, distancing ones’ self from pension planning entirely can be damaging.

“Failure to understand how their pension plans work, or where it is invested, could mean Britons are trapped in schemes which offer little value, or they could face hidden charges. Worse still, it could lead to ill-informed decisions, such as withdrawing too much too soon or moving savings to risky investments – potentially leaving consumers worse-off in the long run.

“It is vital consumers seek independent financial advice before making any major financial decisions. Affordable advice is available, and it minimises the risk of consumers wiping out their finances. In such challenging times, consumers crave stability and guidance – professional advice can offer this.”

My Pension Expert surveyed 2,003 UK adults between 24th and 28th July 2020 via an online survey by independent market research agency Opinium.

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