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Most Britons expect government help in retirement

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11/06/2014
The majority of Britons expect the government to help them if they run out of money in retirement, according to a new study.

A survey of 2,000 UK adults by JLT Employee Benefits found that 72 per cent plan to fall back on the State if their savings are inadequate.

Worryingly, the report revealed a substantial risk of retirees running low on cash. Over 55 per cent of people underestimate how long they could live, while 42 per cent have no idea what their pension pot will be.

For those aware of their pot size, over a third were concerned that their money would only last 1-5 years.

The report was commissioned in light of the sweeping changes made by the Chancellor at the last Budget, which give retirees greater flexibility when accessing their pension savings.

Nearly 40 per cent of respondents said they would, if they took a lump sum on retirement, reinvest it in either a long-term or easy access bank account, which currently yield negative real interest rates.

Meanwhile, 16 per cent of people questioned did not know what an annuity was, suggesting there are still many challenges in terms of financial education and the Government’s ‘guidance guarantee’.

A further 60 per cent said they were indifferent to – or actively resist – financial advice, which could impact income at retirement.

Mark Wood, chief executive, JLT Employee Benefits, said: “There is clear evidence that individuals need more support and guidance around their retirement planning and education has to play a key part in helping the industry tackle this challenging issue. Whether this is provided via the State, the pension provider, the employer or all three, remains to be decided.

“Our research shows there is an inherent reluctance to consult an adviser, which we believe is due to a fragmented British pensions market and the perception that paying for financial advice is only worthwhile if you are a high-net-worth individual.”

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