77% of adults lack confidence about accessing their pension


More than three-quarters (77%) of adults do not feel confident about how to access their pensions, according to research.

Meanwhile, nearly two fifths of adults said they regretted not seeking advice or guidance before taking their pension.

The figures come from Standard Life’s Retirement Voice study which revealed that confidence among adults about how to access pension savings is low.

According to the study, conducted last year among more than 6,000 adults, less than a quarter (23%) felt confident about how they should access their retirement finances.

The research also highlighted that more information on retirement options would help people make more confident decisions.

Nearly two fifths (37%) of respondents said they felt they should have sought advice or guidance before they accessed their pension savings.

Dean Butler, managing director for retail direct at Standard Life, part of the Phoenix Group, said: “With less than 10% of people in the UK taking financial advice it’s unsurprising that very few feel confident about making decisions around accessing their pension savings, and many wish they had taken advice before they did so.”

He said it was important that people were able to understand how their retirement finances work and what their options are, so they can make informed decisions about what’s best for their futures.

He said: “What’s right for one person’s circumstances might not be for another’s.”

The study also found that a quarter of people (24%) were in the dark about the age they will receive their State Pension – including 10% of those aged 55 to 64. It found widespread ignorance of the State Pension even though many will rely on it, at least in part, when they retire.

It found consumers were in the dark about other details of the State Pension:

  • 38% don’t know how to calculate their State Pension entitlement
  • 37% don’t know what the current value of payments from the State Pension are
  • 25% don’t know that their National Insurance (NI) contributions determine the level of entitlement they will get via their state pension in retirement

Meanwhile a quarter of young people aged 18-24 years were unaware of auto-enrolment, according to the report’s findings. It said almost a quarter of young workers have never heard of AE while a tenth are only vaguely familiar with it. Meanwhile just a fifth say that they know “a lot” about it.

• Boxclever conducted research among 6,350 adults. Fieldwork was conducted 26 July – 9 August 2023. Data was weighted post-fieldwork to ensure the data remained nationally representative on key demographics.


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