23% of women anxious about retirement planning

Pension freedom choices are causing anxiety for almost a quarter (23 per cent) of women when planning for retirement, new research from Fidelity International has revealed.

A further 15 per cent of respondents reported feeling confused by the retirement options available to them, while 13 per cent admitted feeling overwhelmed.

The Financial Conduct Authority’s Financial Lives survey showed similar trends, with 17 per cent of women unsure what to do with their tax-free cash, compared to 45 per cent of men.

The survey also showed that whilst 35 per cent of women would feel more comfortable making choices after talking with an adviser, 12 per cent of respondents were unsure where to access such advice.

Commenting on the survey, Fidelity International investment director, Maike Currie, said: “Pension freedoms revolutionised the way savers with defined contribution pensions access their pension pots, but clearly there is still a job to do here.

"Too many women and men still feel anxious and overwhelmed when it comes to the choices around how to access their retirement income.

“A key takeaway was that pension freedoms are not really a freedom unless the individual feels well enough informed to make their decision.

“In order to bring about a better pensions outlook for all, we need to ensure that advice is accessible before the point where pensions are being drawn down. Likewise, more provision needs to be made for advice at the point where women are still accumulating their retirement savings."

This follows recent research by Scottish Widows that showed that while the number of women contributing to their pension had increased, the gender savings gap has remained “unacceptable” with men benefiting from an additional £78,000 in their pension pot at retirement on average.

The Chartered Insurance Institute-led initiative, Insuring Women’s Futures, also published a number of recommendations late last year in an attempt to reduce the pensions gender gap.

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