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Jude Gardner
Senior Research Executive
01293 586567

Peter Lee
Senior Research Executive
01293 766654

Following on from the findings of our longitudinal study of decision making at retirement – The People’s Pension and State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) have published a second report.

This second report further analyses the findings of the initial research, looking specifically at how your personality could affect your income in retirement.

The research

The research itself was carried out by Ignition House, tracking 80 people over an eight-month period.

There was an initial report too, which was illuminating in its own right.

The ‘Pensions personalities’ report

The ‘Pensions personalities’ report took the findings further, by identifying seven distinct personality types among people who are accessing their pension pots under the new freedoms.

The report outlines those personality types, and argues that three in particular are at unacceptably high risk of poor long-term outcomes.

It calls for the industry to consider how best to support these types of pension savers in their decision making – to try to avoid people running out of money in retirement.

High-risk personalities

The three personalities that this research identifies as high risk are:

  • Can Do Better Colin and Clare, who have lost faith in the pensions industry (‘my pension is rubbish, I can do better myself’). They choose to make their own investments, removing their savings from their pension in some cases to put them into an ISA or even just a savings account. This leads to a risk that they might not earn enough back to fund their retirement.
  • Buy to Let Brian and Barbara, who would rather put their faith (and money) into property (‘you can’t lose with property’), but might not appreciate all the costs and risks attached to property investment.
  • Spend it Simon and Sally, who want to spend some of their money while they’re young and healthy enough to enjoy it (‘I’ve worked hard all my life and I deserve a treat’). This makes them likely to take a chunk of their pension savings as cash upfront to spend on holidays, home improvements or buying a new car. They might not be thinking about how this will affect their future retirement income.


The idea is that, by understanding the lens through which retirement savers see the world, their goals and pain points, we can start to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to truly creating personalised solutions – to help people make the most of their money under the new pension freedoms.

Learn more

Download the full ‘New choices, big decisions: Pensions personalities’ report .pdf »

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