Over three-quarters of adults lack confidence in accessing pension

More than three-quarters (77 per cent) of adults in the UK do not feel confident about accessing their pension savings, research from Standard Life has found.

The provider described people’s confidence in accessing pension savings as “staggeringly low”, with less than a quarter (23 per cent) feeling confident about accessing their retirement finances.

Standard Life’s Retirement Voice study, which was conducted among 6,000 adults, highlighted that more information around options at retirement would help people make confident decisions.

It found that more than a third (37 per cent) of survey respondents felt they should have sought guidance or advice before they accessed their pension savings.

Standard Life managing director for retail direct, Dean Butler, stated that, with less than 10 per cent of people in the UK taking financial advice, it was “unsurprising” that few felt confident about making decisions around accessing their pension savings.

Commenting on the findings, Butler said: “It’s important that people are able to understand how their retirement finances work, and what their options are, so they can make informed decisions about what’s best for their futures.

“What’s right for one person’s circumstances might not be for another’s. If you have a defined benefit pension, which usually offers a guaranteed income from your employer until you die, options tend to be fairly limited. This means less freedom in how you take your money but more reassurance that you can’t go far wrong.

“If you have a defined contribution pension, as most people actively saving now do, things are a bit more complicated.”

Standard Life’s Retirement Voice study indicated three themes around how people feel about their retirement and how the cost of living was affecting their plans for the future: The need for financial certainty, the cost of financial uncertainty, and the power of planning.

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