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12 May 21
Pension and Retirement Survey Statistics
Nobody wants to work forever, which is why it’s important to have a strong pension. As a lifelong investment, it’s vital that you get it right so you can retire comfortably. We decided to conduct a survey to find out what people’s knowledge and opinions were on pensions and retirement to gauge the general public’s approach to what is such an important saving exercise.
We surveyed more than 1,200 people in the UK on their feelings and experiences of financial planning. Here’s what we discovered:
Lack of knowledge around pensions
Our survey suggested that the majority of people in the UK are unknowledgeable about pensions, with 43% rating their knowledge as such. Only 17% described themselves as knowledgeable, while 3% said they were very knowledgeable.
This number increased amongst under 45-year-olds to 48%, while 35% of over 45s admitted to being unknowledgeable about pensions. When considering the differences between genders, men claim to be more knowledgeable about pensions than women (32% of males compared to 15% of females).
When respondents were asked whether they knew the current rate of the full single persons’ state pension only 27% knew it was £9,110.40 a year, while 64% said they didn’t know it. Some 6% thought it was half the current rate at £4,555.20, while five people thought it was three times as much at £36,441.60.
Women are less likely to know the current rate of the full singles persons’ state pension, with 71% not knowing the amount compared to 47% of men, while only 20% of women knew the correct total, compared to 42% of men.
The majority of people do not have a personal pension
The survey revealed that 80% of respondents do not have a personal pension separate to their workplace pension and the state pension. This percentage increased among the under 45s to 85%, compared with 74% of over 45s. A quarter of men have a personal pension compared to 18% of women, suggesting men are ensuring they are adequately prepared for retirement.
It is worth noting that this number reduced when specific sectors, such as healthcare, law enforcement and public sector, which are likely to offer a sufficient workplace pension, were filtered out of the results, with 75% of respondents working in other sectors not having a personal pension.
The most common reasons for not having a personal pension separate to the workplace pension and the state pension included:
- Being unable to afford to put away monthly
- Not being aware of what a personal pension was
- Relying on the workplace pension
- Being too young to have one
- Using individual savings accounts (ISAs) instead
Of those that did hold a personal pension, just over half (54%) knew the current value of their personal pension pot, with this percentage increasing to 60% amongst over 45s.
Almost half of people concerned by the ethics of the underlying investments in their pensions
Over half of the participants in our survey (53%) were not aware that they were able to choose what type of fund their personal pension could be invested in. However, when respondents were questioned about their concern over the ethics of the underlying investments of their pensions (for example, underpaying staff, overpaying directors, creating non-recyclable waste, utilising fossil fuels, and so on), 46% said they were concerned. This was similar across all age ranges.
George Critchley at True Bearing said: “This is really promising in comparison to 10 years ago when this percentage would have been nearer to zero as the concept of ethical funds in pensions would have been very new and not discussed.”
Most people’s pension and retirement plans were unhindered by the coronavirus pandemic
Almost all the participants (90%) said that their retirement plans were unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic, while just 5% said it resulted in a delay in their retirement. A similar trend was seen regarding pension plans with 87% being unhindered by COVID-19, with less than 5% stopping paying into their pension due to the pandemic.
The full survey data
Do you have a self-invested personal pension (SIPP) (not including the state or workplace pension)?
Do you know the current value of your personal pension pot?
At what age did you start paying into your pension?
|18-24 years old||36.51%||88|
|25-34 years old||36.51%||88|
|35-44 years old||14.11%||34|
|45-54 years old||3.73%||9|
|55-64 years old||3.32%||8|
|After 65 years old||2.07%||5|
|I don't know||3.73%||9|
Did you know that you can choose what type of fund your personal pension is invested in?
Are you concerned about the ethics of the underlying investments of your pensions? For example, underpaying staff, overpaying directors, creating unrecyclable waste, utilising fossil fuels, and so on.
How would you rate your level of knowledge on pensions?
|Neither knowledgeable nor unknowledgeable||35.26%||378|
Do you know the current rate of the full single persons' state pension?
|Yes - it is £4,555.20 a year||6.53%||70|
|Yes - it is £9,110.40 a year||26.68%||286|
|Yes - it is £18,220.80 a year||2.05%||22|
|Yes - it is £36,441.60 a year||0.47%||5|
|I don't know||64.27%||689|
At what age do you plan to retire?
|Before 55 years old||6.45%||64|
|55 years old||5.04%||50|
|56-60 years old||15.01%||149|
|61-65 years old||25.68%||255|
|66-70 years old||19.44%||193|
|71-75 years old||3.22%||32|
|Over 75 years old||1.61%||16|
|I don't plan to retire||5.04%||50|
|I don't know||18.53%||184|
How confident do you feel that you will be able to afford to retire at that age?
|Neither confident nor unconfident||36.66%||334|
Do you know what size pension pot you want to retire comfortably?
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected your pension plans?
|I have stopped paying into my pension||4.64%||44|
|I have reduced my contributions into my pension||3.80%||36|
|I have swapped employment resulting in a pension break||1.79%||17|
|I am over 55 and have had to withdraw from my pension||1.48%||14|
|I am under 55 and have had to withdraw from my pension||0.32%||3|
|Other, please specify||2.43%||23|
|It hasn't affected my plans||86.92%||824|
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected your retirement plans?
|I have retired earlier than planned||1.69%||16|
|I have delayed my retirement||4.32%||41|
|I have altered my plans for retirement||2.74%||26|
|Other, please specifiy||1.16%||11|
|It hasn't affected my plans||90.08%||854|