80% of Brits unsure on pension basics, as 23% rely on internet research

The majority (80 per cent) of Brits are unsure on the basics of pensions, increasing to 81 per cent for those aged 55 and over and approaching retirement, research from Freetrade has found, with many relying on internet resources, such as Google, to improve this.

Retirement was the area that savers struggled to understand most, according to the survey, with almost half (48 per cent) of savers unable to answer basic questions around broader personal finance, such as what an ISA stands for and what your annuity provider does when you retire.

It also highlighted savers lack of confidence around personal finance as “equally as alarming”, with 88 per cent of Brits stating that they lack confidence with their money.

This increased to 91 per cent when considering investments, with a further 90 per cent of Brits also lacking confidence in managing their retirement money.

Commenting on the findings, Freetrade senior analyst, Dan Lane, said: “The greatest advantage you can give your investments is time. So it’s concerning that the cohort with the most time on their hands feels so ill-equipped.

“Whether we realise it or not, investing early on in life could be the difference between reaching our eventual financial goals or missing them entirely. Getting to grips with the basic concepts later in life might just be too late.

“There should be alarm bells ringing about the fact that 90 per cent of Brits lack confidence with their pensions. With advances in medical technology and increased life expectancies we’re likely to live longer in retirement than ever before.

“But a massive gap in our understanding of how to invest for our third age, or even how to access those investments suitably later on, means we really aren’t prepared for a sizable portion of our lives."

He added: “Unless we’re thinking about investing for retirement long before we get there, we could end up in the awful position of regretting the simple financial decisions we made 30 years ago.

“It’s a real sign of the nation’s lack of financial education when a huge portion of the population doesn’t know the name of one of the most common savings products.”

The survey also found that Brits are turning to the internet, rather than advisers, for support with their understanding, with almost a quarter (23 per cent) citing Google as their first stop for learning about personal finance, whilst 16 per cent would use social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok or Facebook.

Industry experts have recently argued, however, that tech giants, such as Google, should be held more responsible for their role in allowing scam adverts to appear on their platforms, after research found that 'clone firms' had made away with more than £78m through scams in 2020.

Indeed, Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman, has also recently confirmed that he met with Google in order to urge them to use their existing powers to verify advertisers and stop online scammers using their site to promote fake adverts.

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