Nearly 4 in 5 consumers 'knowledgeable' about pensions

Almost four out of five consumers (78 per cent) ‘understand’ pensions, new research from Link Group has revealed.

The research suggested that the pensions industry and educators have been successful in building better public knowledge of pensions and the importance of retirement planning in recent years.

This was especially true with young age groups, finding that 86 per cent of 18-34 year olds interviewed had a good understanding of pensions, the highest of any age group.

According to the research, almost 60 per cent of people felt that they should be more responsible for ensuring they have a good retirement income and 52 per cent welcomed the opportunity to pick their own investments and schemes.

Whilst Link Groups suggested that the developments were “encouraging”, it argued that the industry needed to leverage the growing sense of personal responsibility by making it simpler for people to engage with their pensions.

The research found that 42 per cent of those surveyed felt that it was still too difficult to make simple changes to their pensions, while 58 per cent of people reported finding it difficult to become actively involved in their investments.

In addition, 46 per cent of members did not believe that their employers were best placed to pick their retirement at all and 48 per cent would rather pick their own pension scheme.

It also found appetite for more structural changes to the UK pensions system, as 67 per cent stated they would prefer to have a single, super, or consolidated pension and over 76 per cent would like to see pensions ‘porting’ easily with them between employers.

Link Group's retirement solutions general manager for UK and Europe, Richard Wilson, commented: “The UK is at a critical tipping point when it comes to moving beyond education towards genuine engagement with members.

“This research demonstrates that there is an opportunity for the industry to leverage elevated member knowledge and demand for greater pension responsibility by simply making it easier for people to engage through the channels that best suit them.

“This will need the industry to move on from spreadsheets, manual processing and paper files and really move positively into the digital era.”

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