New Research Highlights Savers’ Confusion About Pensions

New research released today by Aberdeen Asset Management reveals the extent of confusion about the pensions and savings system in the UK and how unimportant tax relief is to an individual’s decision making.

The research shows that the majority of workers aged 18-64 find it difficult to understand where it is best to save for retirement, how much they should save, when and how they can access their money and what income they will need in retirement.

  • Just under two thirds (65%) of respondents find it difficult to understand where it is best to save their money for retirement.
  • 61% say it is difficult to know how much to save regularly in order to get the income in retirement that they need.
  • Meanwhile 57% of respondents find it difficult to understand when and how you can access the money you pay into a pension scheme.
  • 24% say they do not know what income they will need in retirement.

With people struggling to navigate the system, it is perhaps unsurprising that 22% of those surveyed do not have any form of savings.

The survey also reveals that one of the key measures which could emerge from the Government’s consultation on the pensions industry will not affect savings behaviour. The consultation asks whether tax relief on contributions should be scrapped but more than two in five (43%) of respondents currently saving into a pension said doing so would make no difference to the amount they save.

The survey does highlight though that employers have an important role to play in encouraging saving with nearly half (48%) saying higher contributions from employers would encourage them to save more.

Head of Retirement Savings at Aberdeen Asset Management Gregg McClymont commented: “As a nation we are bewildered by the pensions system with people not knowing how much to save or even where to save it. The government’s current consultation recognizes the problem but its unclear that tax relief changes are the key to encouraging more saving. What is clear is the importance of the employers’ role: . if companies contribute to an individual’s pension it incentivises that person to save more. That makes it critical that we continue to build a workplace pensions system for all”

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,104 adults, of which 1,148 are workers aged 18-64. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18th-19th August 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

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