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Three quarters have no idea how much is in their pension pot

John Fitzsimons
Written By:
John Fitzsimons

Around three quarters (75%) of adults do not know how much they have set aside in pension savings, new research from Standard Life has revealed.

The study, conducted among around 6,000 people, found that there is a similar lack of knowledge and engagement with our pension pots across age groups. However, Standard Life suggested that it was particularly concerning that almost four in five (79%) of those aged 55-64 could not put a figure on how much they have in pension savings, given their proximity to retirement.

Interestingly, the age group most likely to be able to state how much they have in pension savings is the youngest group, those aged 18 to 24 at 35%. This may be because they have far less set aside, however. 

The gender pension gap

The Standard Life research found that women are less likely to know what they have saved than men. Around 81% are unable to put a figure on their savings, compared with 68% of men.

Women also believe that less will be needed for a minimum standard of living in retirement at £22,428, compared with £32,617 for men.

Previous research from Aviva has highlighted the scale of the gender pension gap, and the fact that it widens significantly from the age of 35.

How much do I want to save?

Standard Life also polled respondents on how much they intend to save by their retirement age.

The target pension pot varies significantly depending on your income. For example, those with a personal income below £30,000 want to save £139,428 on average, compared with £309,755 among those earning between £40,000 and £49,999.

For the highest earners, those earning above £50,000, the pension pot target comes to £821,880.

Job changes make tracking pension pots harder

Dean Butler, managing director for customer at Standard Life, said that it was a worry that so many could not estimate how much they’ve got in their pot, particularly those approaching retirement.

He also warned that the changing nature of the jobs market could make it harder for future generations to keep on top of their developing pot.

Butler explained: “Despite its huge success, auto-enrolment along with the fact UK workers tend to change jobs more regularly now has meant many workers further into their careers have multiple small pots – younger workers, in most cases, won’t have this issue. They might also be more used to a world in which long-term saving is entirely down to them – unlike older workers, it’s all they’ve ever known.”

The Government has previously announced plans to launch a pension dashboard, bringing together information for individuals over the size of their various pension pots. However, the dashboard has been repeatedly delayed, and was this year put back once again.