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The survey for B&CE, provider of The People’s Pension, also found that:

  • a quarter of working age people with a pension have never checked their savings
  • over three-quarters of working age people with a pension said they would like to be able to see all their savings online in one place in a pensions dashboard.

A survey has found that three in five (59%) workers and people looking for work aged 65 and under with pension savings have no idea how much they have saved for their retirement, creating fears that savers might not be able to make the most of the pensions freedom and choice agenda post April 6th.

This figure is in stark contrast to more than four in five (88%) knowing how much is in their bank account, and over three in five (72%) knowing how much they have in other savings accounts. The survey also found that women are far less likely to know how much they have saved in pensions than men (30% compared to 50%).

Two in five people (40%) have two or more pension pots. Two in five (40%) people check their pension savings less often than once every six months, yet over three quarters (76%) check their bank account at least once a week. A quarter of people with a pension (25%) have never checked their pension savings.

The survey was carried out online by YouGov on behalf of B&CE, provider of The People’s Pension, which is the biggest private sector multi-employer pension scheme in the UK.

The survey also found that most people with a pension (93%) think that people should be aware of how much they have saved for their retirement, and three quarters (77%) of those supported the idea of a pensions dashboard, where they could see all their pension savings online in the same place, including their state pension.

Darren Philp, Director of Policy and Market Engagement at The People’s Pension, said:

“It is worrying, but perhaps unsurprising, that a significant number of people do not know how much they have saved for their retirement. Some people find it difficult to keep track of their savings if they are all in one place, so you can imagine how complicated it becomes if people have more than one pot in different schemes. How can savers be expected to be able to plan for their retirement if they do not even know how much they have saved?

“These findings create a fear that people might not be best placed to make the right choice for them with the new pensions freedoms. People need to be able to check their pension savings as easily as they can check their bank account, and know what they have at any given time, if they are really going to be able to make an informed choice.

“Our findings support what we have been calling for and what the Pensions Minister, the Financial Conduct Authority, and the Work and Pensions Select Committee are now calling for, a pensions dashboard. We would like to see an online one-stop-shop where people can see all their savings at a glance in one place.

“This is not rocket science. It works in other countries, and it is time for the UK to catch up. This needs to be a priority for the next government, and the industry needs to work together to push for rapid change.”

The survey found that public opinion was divided as to who should be responsible for producing the pensions dashboard. Around a quarter each felt it should be the government (23%), pension providers (23%), or an independent regulator (25%).

Other key findings:

  • Most people would also be interested in a website that combines a pension dashboard with information about all of their financial services products, including pensions, banking and other financial products such as mortgages and insurances (69%). The majority believe that such a website should be run by an independent regulator (29%) rather than the government (19%), pension providers (14%) or banks (10%).
  • Women (80%) and those aged 25 to 34 (84%) were the most interested in a pensions dashboard, and the least likely to know how much they had saved. Women were also found to have lower levels of pension provision than men (67% compared to 74%).
  • As a possible result of automatic enrolment, most jobholders and jobseekers aged 65 and under now have some form of pension provision (71%). Most have an employer pension scheme (63%), with fewer having a personal pension scheme (15%). As expected, many (40%) have more than one pension pot, while a significant minority (14%) have three or more pension pots.
  • Among those closest to retirement (eg aged 55-65 years old) almost half (44%) do not know how much they have saved for retirement.

Download the report: Public attitudes towards a Pension Dashboard (pdf)


Note to editors

The survey was conducted online via the YouGov panel. Fieldwork was carried out among 1,370 working/looking for work adults aged 65 and under between 11 and 12 March 2015 and was selected and weighted (2,269) to be representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). The sample profile is normally derived from census data or, if not available from the census, from industry accepted data.

The People’s Pension is the largest private sector master trust (multi-employer pension scheme) in the UK, with more than 1.2 million members and 4,700 employers signed up. Run by B&CE, a not for profit company, it offers a simple and low cost automatic enrolment workplace pension solution for employers of any size from any sector.

We tweet as @peoplespension. #pensionsdashboard