53% of over 40s unsure of guidance guarantee eligibility

More than half (53%) of respondents over the age of 40 do not know if they are eligible for the guidance guarantee, according to research by retirement provider Partnership. 

Andrew Megson Partnership

Its research, which surveyed more than 2,000 people aged over 40, also found that 18% of respondents said they were not eligible for the guidance guarantee.

In addition, only 29% of respondents said they know that they can use the service, which will come into effect from April 2015.

The research found that more than two-fifths (41%) did not know where they would go for guidance or information with regards to pension planning.

More than one in five (21%) would look to their pension provider for guidance, 18% of respondents would seek help from a financial adviser and a further 17% of respondents would ask family and friends for help.

Only 5% of respondents would look to the guidance guarantee for assistance, and 18% would look for online resources.

Andrew Megson (pictured), managing director of retirement at Partnership, said: “Only 29% of people knew that they could use the guidance guarantee service which suggests that there is a huge need for education around the new pension regime

“Much of the discussion has focused on the new freedoms but ultimately these are not going to be properly taken up if people don’t fully understand their rights and responsibilities under the new system. 

“Some people will naturally speak to their financial adviser and get the benefit of specialist advice but we are concerned about those who may have modest pension pots and little margin for error. 

“With 17% of respondents looking to their employers for help with their pensions, this would be a perfect opportunity for these organisations to help their staff engage with financial advisers.

“It is also vital that, as the industry seeks to develop products, the government ensures people understand that they are eligible for free impartial guidance which will help them to make the most of their retirement finances.”