Follow our 4 simple steps for successful fundraising
Get started today
Our local Age UKs have the inside knowledge in your area
Find your local Age UK
Source : Age UK
Published on 11 April 2013 12:01 AM
Confusion and uncertainty over pensions leave many in a muddle and plans awry when saving for retirement
A shift in working cultures and confusion around retirement planning is resulting in a pension ‘black hole’, with almost a quarter (23%) of UK adults stating they have lost track of at least one pension scheme – according to a new online poll* for Age UK.
The poll, commissioned to understand more about people’s attitudes and plans for retirement, reveals that nearly a third (30%) of UK adults would try to trace a pension if they realised they had lost track of it. However, people are unsure about how and where to start hunting these pensions down.
Reasons behind the UK’s missing pensions:
The trend for adults to have a variety of employers over a lifetime, often resulting in multiple work place pensions, is one of the root causes of the emerging pension ‘black hole’.
Tellingly, the average person over 65 has worked for around 6 (5.6) employers in total, while a quarter (23%) of those aged 25-34 have already worked for a similar number - yet have more than approximately 35 years left before they are likely to retire. This indicates that the younger generation will almost certainly have a variety of pension pots as they get older.
With the UK’s financial situation remaining precarious, the findings revealed a mixture of scepticism and uncertainty about long-term financial planning, with 12 per cent saying they don’t think that there is any point as ‘nothing is guaranteed’, and nine per cent not knowing how to start out planning for retirement.
Worryingly, 24% of adults said that they were aware that they should be financially planning for their retirement, but currently can’t afford to.
Age UK’s research shows that there is much confusion and uncertainty about how to trace a pension. If they realised that they’d lost a pension, nearly a quarter (23%) of potential pension-hunters would ask previous employers for help; 15% would consult the government or tax office; 11% would look online for advice; and seven per cent would turn to a friend or relative for help.
Commenting on the findings, Lucy Harmer, Head of Services at Age UK, said: 'It’s really important we all set aside time to keep on top of our personal admin, such as organising paperwork and keeping details of any financial products safe and secure. This is especially crucial for pensions as it may be some years down the line until they need to be accessed.
'With the number of jobs we have over a lifetime increasing, it’s likely that people will accumulate several small pension pots. In many cases these bring a less fruitful income in later life than one large pension pot.'
Lucy Harmer continued: 'While some measures are being taken by the Government to account for smaller pension pots likely to be created under automatic enrolment, existing pots that we may already have are not being accounted for. This makes it more important than ever that we keep on top of what we have already accumulated.
'We strongly advise people to seriously think about planning for retirement and the kind of lifestyle you want - it’s never too early. At Age UK we have a range of information and services available to help with pension preparations, including a pension planner, help and guidance, as well as information on the state pension.'
Tips from Age UK on finding a lost pension include:
Where can people find out more information about planning for retirement?Age UK offers free, friendly, and impartial advice to people in later life, their friends, family and carers.
Visit the Age UK website at www.ageuk.org.uk or call Age UK Advice free on 0800 169 6565 to find out more about retirement planning.
In addition, the Age UK Annuity Service†, provided by Just Retirement Solutions Limited, enables people to shop around and compare annuity rates from leading providers; for more information call 03332 209 471 or visit www.ageuk.org.uk/products/products/financial-products--services/annuities.
For further information, case studies and spokespeople, please contact Emma Russell (tel: 0207 009 3145) or Laura Gordon (tel: 0207 009 3159) at 3 Monkeys Communications or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
*A total of 2,312 UK adults were surveyed via an online poll. The survey was carried out by Vision Critical in March 2013.
1 Age UK research shows the average person over 65 has worked for 5.6 employers, while those aged 35 – 44 have already worked for 5.5 organisations
2 Age UK research shows 37% of 18 – 44 year olds say they have lost track of their pension schemes, compared to 27% of 45 – 54s 15% of 55 – 64s and 9% of 65+
Age UK:For media enquiries relating to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland please contact the appropriate national office: Age Scotland on 0131 668 8055, Age Cymru on 029 2043 1562 and Age NI on 028 9024 5729.About Age UK:
Age UK, the force dedicated to improving later life provides free information, advice and support to over 6 million people; commercial products and services to over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and wellbeing, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle. We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI (together the Age UK Family), our local Age UK partners in England and local Age Concerns. We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.
Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Together they have formed the Age UK Group (“we”). Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity’s trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity).
† The Age UK Annuity Service is provided by Premier Retirement Services, a division of JLT Benefit Solutions Limited. Age UK Enterprises Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority to introduce potential annuity customers.
Set your location to see what Age UK offers in your local area.
To find out who you need to speak to in our media team, follow the link below:
This factsheet, which is regularly updated, is the most up-to-date source of publicly-available, general information on people in later life in the UK.
A download is a document (like a research report, a leaflet, or an application form) that can be transferred from our website to your computer. You can download a file, view it on your screen, print it, or save it to your computer.
PDF stands for ‘portable document format’.
Most downloads on this website are PDFs. We use this format to ensure that the document looks the same on everyone’s computer (website pages, by contrast, appear differently depending on how people have set their computer up).
Computers use a program called Adobe Acrobat Reader to download PDFs. If you try clicking on a link to download a PDF and it doesn’t work, you will need to install Adobe Acrobat Reader onto your computer.
The process is quite straightforward and is free.
PDFs cannot be changed.
Downloads will open on your computer in a new browser window.
Inside this window (below all your web browser menus), there will be a toolbar with options for you to print or save the document.
Close the browser window to return to the Age UK website.
We have made every effort to make our PDFs accessible to screen readers. Please ensure that you have downloaded the latest version of Acrobat Reader from the Adobe Reader website to ensure that accessibility options are included in your version of the programme.
You can use Adobe Reader to read a PDF out loud with the following shortcut keys:
You can convert a PDF document into a text file for use with other software and hardware such as Braille printers by opening the PDF and choosing ‘Save as text’ from the File menu.
We have a number of experts available for comment, including:
Caroline joined Age UK in 2012.
A social scientist and barrister, Caroline has spent her career in the voluntary and public sectors, mostly on children and families’ issues. She has worked in a senior capacity at the children’s charity, Action For Children and at the Local Government Association. Caroline has also been a policy adviser to Ministers and Shadow Ministers, and a senior civil servant. A former chair of the End Child Poverty campaign, Caroline’s policy interests include integrated health and care, family policy, poverty and the role of the voluntary sector.
Caroline oversees Age UK’s influencing work and her team covers research, public policy, health influencing, media, campaigns and engagement and public affairs. She is also the Charity's lead spokesperson.
Caroline decided to work for Age UK because she could see that there was a lot to do to change policy and practice so older people are served well, and because she passionately believes that Age UK can make a big difference.
James is head of our research department in Age UK.
His responsibilities include:
He has a Visiting Professorship in Ageing at Loughborough University.
Jane Vass has been Head of Public Policy at Age UK since 2012, having joined Age UK’s predecessor, Age Concern England as Financial Services Policy Adviser in 2006.
She was previously an independent consumer consultant specialising in financial services from the consumer viewpoint. In this capacity she undertook research such as reports for the National Consumer Council on equity release and on financial capability for the Securities and Investments Board.
She also wrote the Daily Mail Tax Guide for 10 years. She was a member of the Financial Services Consumer Panel from 1999 to 2003, and from 1983 to 1993 she worked for Consumers’ Association.
Jane was given an OBE for her services to financial services in the June 2015 Birthday Honours list.
Set the appearance of this website so you can read it more easily
To see information relating to Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales set your preference below: