62% in favour of flexibility around pensions

Nearly two-thirds (62%) of UK workers believe giving people more choice and flexibility around how they take their retirement income is a good idea, according to research by Aviva.


Its research, which surveyed 1,500 UK employees, found that 80% of respondents were aware of the retirement income changes announced by the government in the 2014 Budget.

More than half (52%) of respondents thought people can be trusted to spend their retirement savings wisely, but 61% said people will have to show greater restraint in coming years to avoid spending all the money they have earmarked for retirement.

A third (34%) of respondents felt their savings would last for the whole of their retirement. Men (41%) were more likely than women (27%) to be confident that their money will last.

Respondents who will be retiring within the next year were more likely to say the Budget changes will affect their retirement plans. More than half (57%) of this group felt this would be the case, compared to 21% of those retiring in the next two years and 17% of those planning to do so in the next five years.

A third (34%) of respondents felt the changes will make no difference to them and 27% said they do not know how their plans will be affected.

The research also found:

  • 33% of respondents would turn to their pension providers for guidance and support on their retirement plans, while 28% would turn to an independent financial adviser and 24% to The Pensions Advisory Service.
  • 28% of respondents thought they have enough knowledge to be able to make the right decisions about their retirement, while 41% said that, although they have some knowledge, they would benefit from further help.
  • 72% of respondents who are retiring in the next year were confident about their level of knowledge.

Clive Bolton (pictured), managing director, retirement solutions at Aviva, said: “It’s good to see that [employees] support the government’s changes to retirement income, and are confident about the opportunities that increased flexibility and choice will bring them.

“It’s clear that people will need support and guidance as they choose how to make the most of their savings, particularly as many are concerned about running out of money over what could be a long and varied retirement.

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“With additional flexibility, people are increasingly likely to adjust or change their retirement income decisions as their needs evolve over the retirement years.

“Retirement [products], such as pensions, annuities, income drawdown and equity release, will continue to have a role to play in people’s retirement plans.”