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Simply meeting people’s financial needs
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Contact our research team

Jude Gardner
Senior Research Executive
01293 586567

Peter Lee
Senior Research Executive
01293 766654

Following the introduction of the new pension freedoms, The People’s Pension and State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) wanted to explore how people are making their retirement decisions.

The research

The People’s Pension and SSGA co-sponsored a longitudinal qualitative assessment with an independent research agency – Ignition House.

The research tracked each step of the decision-making process across a six-month period: looking at how people have made their retirement decisions, the emotions they experienced, and the barriers they had to overcome across a six-month period.

The project was recognised as one of the most in-depth studies into decision making under UK Freedom and Choice so far.


Ignition House found 80 participants for the study – who all had Defined Contribution pension pots that typically ranged from £30,000 to £100,000.


The study had three stages:

  1. We conducted in-depth interviews at the start of the project, to explore intentions and analyse needs and motivations.
  2. Our participants kept a diary during their decision-making process, writing down their thoughts as they explored their options.
  3. In another round of interviews at the final stage, we explored the decisions they had made and why.


The results of this project have some important implications for the industry, and how we can support people to make the right decision for their situation.

The research shows that savers think the new pension freedoms mean they have to take their cash now – but it might not be the right choice for them.

It indicates that freedom and choice is welcomed but overwhelming for savers.

And it reveals the challenges that need addressing, highlighting 10 key questions that savers should ask themselves to help them make the most of their retirement savings.

The research also led to a second report in the ‘New choices, big decisions’ series – ‘Pensions personalities’.

Learn more

Download the full ‘New choices, big decisions: a longitudinal study of decision making at retirement’ report .pdf »

Read our press release about this ‘New choices, big decisions’ research »