Savers keen to manage retirement finances despite lack of understanding

Nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) of UK adults want to be involved in managing their finances in retirement, although many lack understanding or have never sought advice, a Smart Pension survey has revealed.

Smart’s The future of retirement report found that despite the majority wishing to be involved in managing their retirement finances, 39 per cent did not understand the options available to them and 47 per cent had never received financial advice.

More than a third (35 per cent) wanted to manage their finances in retirement all by themselves, while 38 per cent wanted help from an adviser.

Nearly half (48 per cent) of respondents said that they would expect to receive advice from financial advisers, 47 per cent expected it from government websites and 39 per cent from their pension provider.

However, when asked where they had received the most useful advice, 13 per cent of over-55s cited financial advisers and 9 per cent said their pension provider.

Living a limited lifestyle was found to be the most pressing retirement concern, with 52 per cent citing this as a worry, followed by day-to-day living costs (41 per cent), housing costs (36 per cent), family support costs (30 per cent) and healthcare costs (25 per cent).

Smart's report suggested that cliff-edge retirement was “a thing of the past”, with 44 per cent of respondents expecting retirement to be an event with several stages, and only 20 per cent of over-55s expecting it to be a one-off event.

More than two-thirds (68 per cent) of UK adults said they expected to retire in their sixties, despite 16 per cent not having any retirement savings.

A fifth (20 per cent) expected to retire in their fifties, while 9 per cent predicted they would retire aged 70 or older.

The report also highlighted the perceived importance of being able to manage retirement finances online, with 64 per cent of respondents saying this was important.

“With the global retirement market worth $47trn, we’ve looked at how savers have seen their retirement plans change due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” commented Smart Pension director of retirement proposition, Michael Watkins.

“Our report shows that innovation in retiretech will be vital to support the evolving needs of savers in three of the largest DC pensions markets in the world [the UK, Australia and the US] in an industry that has historically been slow to change.”

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