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UK Pensions Savings (Accumulation) Consumer Research Report 2020

  • Report
  • 61 Pages
  • March 2020
  • Region: United Kingdom
  • IRN Research
  • ID: 5007779

This report is a consumer research report looking at how individuals are saving for their pensions.  This covers the accumulation phase of the pension process, i.e. buying or taking out a pension product and saving for retirement. For this report, the publisher commissioned research from MIS Group’s UK panel. The research was structured so that 2,077 nationally representative consumers aged 18+ were asked about their pension ownership and savings. This generated 1,253 individuals who owned a pension.  

60% of consumers in the UK (66% of those who are not retired) have a pension, even if they are not currently making contributions to the plan/scheme. 91% of consumers owning a pension have a workplace pension and 68% have a private pension: 61% own both a private and a workplace pension.

Despite widespread ownership, pension holder knowledge and understanding of the pensions they own is often poor and patchy and the same can be said for their knowledge of their options for taking their pension in the future. This can sometimes lead consumers to make bad pension choices, which is all the more likely because only 50% of pension holders sought advice from professional sources before taking our/enrolling in their pension.

However,  pension holders are willing to consult and use online services, which can allow them to select and manage their pension, and there is scope for paid-for online services to fill the knowledge gap as well as scope to offer free or low-cost services.

1. Executive Summary
  • Six-in-ten consumers have a pension
  • Workplace pensions the main type owned
  • Most pension holders make contributions
  • Some pension holders decumulate as well as accumulate
  • Many pension holders lack understanding and knowledge…
  • Which sometimes leads to bad choices
  • Which makes getting professional help of prime importance…
  • Especially as pension holders struggle to make rational choices
  • Can online solutions close the knowledge gap?
  • With paid-for services a possibility
2. Introduction
3. Overall Pension Ownership
  • 6 of consumers own a pension
  • Lack of affordability the main cause of not having a pension
  • Which explains why pension ownership peaks among affluent consumers
4. The Types Of Pensions Owned
  • Workplace pensions dominate the pension landscape
  • Standard private and occupational workplace the most popular forms of pension
  • Over eight-in-ten pension holders have DC pensions
  • Gold-plated pensions, something for the mature affluent male
  • Over half of workplace pension holders make contributions
  • Almost four-in-ten own multiple pension products…
  • Almost four-in-ten multi-pension owners are seeking consolidation
  • One-in-five pension holders have decumulated
5. Seeking Advice
  • Many consumers buy without advice…
  • Especially those with auto enrolled workplace pensions
  • The good news is that a little nudge can push consumers in the right direction
6. Pension Understanding
  • Going without advice is dangerous because pension knowledge is very patchy…
  • Less than one-in-five pension holders have good knowledge
  • Mature, affluent men have the greatest understanding
  • Which may explain why many are uncertain about their retirement income
  • With such uncertainty, many think the best strategy is partial retirement
  • Lack of knowledge might explain some unrealistic expectations
  • Lack of knowledge can lead pension holders to make mistakes…
7. Ways To Improve Knowledge And Decision Making
  • Consumers show interest in automated advice
  • Pension holders “In the Light” have a greater appreciation of online tools
  • Young affluent pension holders like getting automated advice and guidance
  • One-third of pension holders willing to pay for advice or guidance
  • Hybrid human/machine guidance services the most in demand
List Of Figures
Figure 1 The ownership of pensions
Figure 2 Why consumers without a pension do not have one
Figure 3 The gender, age, social grade and income profile of consumers with and without a pension
Figure 4 The breakdown of pension ownership
Figure 5 The types of private and workplace pensions owned
Figure 6 The ownership of defined contribution pensions
Figure 7 The demographic profile of the main types of pensions owned
Figure 8 The types of contributions made to workplace pensions
Figure 9 The percentage of pension holders with pensions from different providers
Figure 10 Breakdown of pension holders by current position and planned action
Figure 11 How pension holders have acted to access cash in their pensions
Figure 12 Sources of advice used before taking out or enrolling in a pension
Figure 13 The % of pension holders consulting professional* advice sources before taking out a pension
Figure 14 The advice used before taking cash or an income from a pension
Figure 15 The understanding pension holders have of their pensions and future options
Figure 16 The three knowledge groups by understanding of current pension
Figure 17 The three knowledge groups by demographic and pension owning characteristics
Figure 18 Pension holders who lack confidence that they are saving enough
Figure 19 The retirement plans of pension holders
Figure 20 The features of a pension that guide choice
Figure 21 Major pension changes undertaken/considered
Figure 22 Pension holder support for online pension selection and management tools
Figure 23 Pension holder openness to new online tools
Figure 24 Willingness to use automated online advice and guidance services
Figure 25 The potential for online services among pension holders
Figure 26 The willingness to use automated online service by preference for guidance or advice