Over two-thirds of adults unaware of minimum pension age increase

More than two thirds (68 per cent) of UK adults are unaware of plans to increase the minimum pension age from 55 to 57, according to research from Aegon.

The research found that awareness of the change, which is intended to take place in April 2028, was lowest among younger age groups, with 83 per cent of 18-34 years olds being unaware of the plans.

Even so, the research did note a “good understanding” of the current situation, with 83 per cent of those surveyed being aware of a minimum age to access a pension, while almost two thirds (64 per cent) also correctly identified age 55 as the current minimum.

Noting that individuals in schemes which included an unqualified right to take a pension at 55 would still be able to do so, Aegon found that almost half (44 per cent) of adults aged 35-54 said they would be put off moving to a better value scheme if staying put allowed them to keep the age 55 minimum access age.

The firm expressed concern about this, explaining that moving to a new scheme with lower charges, better investment options and more engaging communications might make a big difference to retirement outcomes.

Aegon pensions director, Steven Cameron, commented: “The government’s intention behind increasing the normal minimum pension age from 55 to 57 is to encourage more people to work longer and to save sufficiently for retirement. As people on average are living longer, this has merit, but people need to know about the change well in advance.”

As such, he called for the government and the pensions industry to highlight the issue “without delay” to workers, cautioning that any increase in the minimum pension age could leave people “disappointed” if not enough notice was given.

Cameron continued: “Furthermore, the proposals on how to introduce the increased minimum access age present a number of challenges and complexities. Our research confirms our fears that individuals might shun transferring from their current pension scheme if they lose their right to access their pension from age 55.

“There are many situations where people might benefit from transferring to a new pension, including moving from schemes with higher charges, less flexibility or poorer investment choices. Choosing to ‘stay put’ on the slim chance you might want to access your pension from age 55 could have a big and damaging impact on retirement outcomes.

“Seeking professional financial advice could help those facing difficult decisions in weighing up their options when transferring or consolidating their pensions.”

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