Half of over-50s don't know the value of their pension

Pensions / Retirement
Approaching Retirement
Joe Phelan's picture
Number of adults unsure how much their pension is worth is 'worrying', says top IFA.

Almost half of those over the age of 50 admit they don’t know the value of their pension, according to research carried out by Which?.

The study, carried out during January of this year, discovered that many over-50s are unsure about how much money they will have to live on during retirement, and are therefore unaware of whether they are on track to hit their financial goals.

Perhaps even more worryingly, the research revealed that over a fifth (21%) have never checked the value of their pension pots, meaning many thousands could end up with far less to spend in retirement than they had expected.

If you are unsure how much your pension is worth, or would like to fund out how to boost your retirement savings, speaking to an IFA can help you better understand your options.

Which? surveyed hundreds of over UK adults over the age of 50, and in doing so discovered that a perturbing number of people closing in on retirement have never checked their pension savings, or have not done so for an extended period of time.

The key findings from the survey are as follows:

  •           47% of those who are employed and have a personal pension do not know the total amount of money they have saved
  •           37% admit they find it difficult to keep track of their pension pots
  •           34% say that keeping track of pension pots is too time-consuming
  •           21% have never checked the value of their pension pot(s)
  •           21% say they do not know how to find out the value of their pension pot(s)

We spoke to Durham-based IFA Chris Breward, to see whether he believes people are becoming more aware of the importance of carefully managing their retirement savings.

“We have seen lots of people sparked into action by the recent changes in legislation and increased coverage in the press, but worryingly many who have sought advice have no idea how their funds are invested or how much they have.

“For example, many people with poor funds that have underperformed for years never knew they could switch to a different provider or a different range of funds.

“We have helped people take out lump sums from their pensions to relieve them of massive debts but still keep the bulk of their pension fund invested wisely, ensuring they still have a good fund to look forward to when they finish working.

“Overall, I think the changes in pension legislation in recent years have been massively beneficial to people, but everyone must plan and review their options regularly. Too many people arrive at our office with a statement from a pension provider, and have no idea what one of their largest assets in life is worth to them in real terms.”

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