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Survey reveals lack of confidence on pension savings

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Four out of five people (83%) wish they were saving more into their pension every month, with almost 30% of those over-55 unsure if they’ll be able to retire on their current savings, finds research from pension communications company Pension Geeks.

One in four people (25%) regret not starting to save for their pensions earlier in life. There is also widespread confusion about pensions, with fewer than 10% of people confident they have a thorough understanding.

It also appears that the various government initiatives, such as Pension Wise, to promote better understanding of pensions may not have a broad-enough reach. Almost nine in ten (86%) think that there is not enough information about pensions available to them and a quarter (25%) believe that the information that is available is too complicated to understand.

The latest Scottish Widows Retirement Report showed that the number of people saving adequately for retirement has stalled at 56% for the third year in a row, with almost a fifth (18%) of the UK adult population – equivalent to 9m people – saving nothing at all.

“Our research has uncovered some thought-provoking findings on the state of pensions and pension awareness in the UK,” said Jonathan Bland, co-founder of Pension Geeks. “With annual figures from Scottish Widows revealing a worrying stagnation in retirement savings, the reality is that many face not having enough in their pension pots to secure a decent income for the future.

“While auto-enrolment has been a success with four in five people planning to stay enrolled, as a nation we just aren’t engaged enough when it comes to how much we’re saving and some of that responsibility is actually on us as an industry to do more to help.”

Pension Geeks and partner, Scottish Widows, are embarking on a five-day tour of cities across the UK in the lead up to Pension Awareness Day on 15 September. Starting in Edinburgh on 11 September, the blue Pension Awareness Campaign bus will stop in central locations in Leeds, Birmingham and Cardiff, before heading to London’s Southbank. Experts from Scottish Widows and Pension Wise will be available on board to answer questions.

Robert Cochran, a pensions expert at Scottish Widows, which is partnering the campaign, said: “Automatic enrolment has undoubtedly been a success for millions of UK adults who have started saving towards retirement for the first time. In fact, since the initiative was introduced in 2012 our research shows that the number of people saving adequately for retirement has increased from 45% to 56%. However, as the level of saving has stalled over the past few years it is obvious even more needs to be done across the industry to better educate people on the importance of putting away as much as they can towards retirement.”

See the Your Money guide to making the most of your workplace pension here .

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