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29 Mar 2023
by Gail Izat

Half of employees suffer pension information overload – report

Research by Standard Life says women in particular are failing to plan for retirement because they feel bogged down by pension information

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Half of us (50%) feel overwhelmed by the amount of information available about pensions and four in 10 don’t know what to do with it all, according to Standard Life’s Retirement Voice 2022 report.

The report, now in its second year, surveyed the views of almost 6,000 people from all walks of life across the UK.

In addition, the research found that just 21% of women have done a great deal of planning or thinking about how much money they need to live on in retirement. For men, that figure is higher, at 35%.

No planning for retirement

Meanwhile, more than one-third (35%) of women have done no planning at all, compared with 19% of men. And 34% of women vs 21% of men say they don't know how to review their long-term finances.

These findings seem to suggest that it’s difficult for people to plan for retirement if they don’t feel that they understand pensions well enough – and this appears to be part of the problem.

Offering targeted education and communication is, therefore, key to helping people feel less bogged down by information and more in control of their finances – which could have a big impact on their overall financial wellbeing.

Women and young are least confident

On average, women and younger people are generally less confident that they have enough knowledge of pensions to make good decisions.

Meanwhile, people aged 65-80 are typically the most confident, followed by those aged 55-64.

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Overwhelmed by information

One the reasons people lack confidence in their knowledge of pensions could be the nature of the information available.

And while half of the population find the amount of retirement planning information ‘overwhelming’, the number is even greater for women at 56%.

People aged 18-24 are most likely to feel overwhelmed (63%), followed by the 62% for 25-34-year-olds and 57% of 35-44-year-olds. Those already retired or closer to retirement feel least overwhelmed.

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Many people also say they have no idea what to do with the information they have. Again, people aged 18-24 feel this most often, followed by the next youngest age groups. Women are also more likely to feel this way compared with men (48% vs 35%).

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This indicates that more effective and readily available financial education could boost many people’s financial planning and overall financial wellbeing.

Understand what members need to know

Across genders and age groups, most are interested in knowing how much money their pension will give them in retirement and how much is in their pension pot.

Women also prioritise wanting to make sure they’re paying enough into their pension, followed by wanting to understand what options or choices they can make about their pension. Those aged 25-34 also take a heightened interest in making sure they’re paying in enough, which tapers off as they get closer to retirement age.

This shows that the pension information people are looking for differs. By understanding what information your members need, you can adopt a tailored – rather than one-size-fits-all – approach to your financial education.

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Target financial education

The research shows that many people still do no retirement planning and the nature of the pensions information appears to be part of the problem.

Clearly, there is value in taking a targeted approach to helping people. Some cohorts need more support than others, while other groups are looking for answers to particular questions. How people digest that information differs, too, whether via videos, written content or in-person events.

Therefore, it’s vital to tailor pensions information to make it less overwhelming and more relatable to specific needs. Where people access advice and guidance varies. But wherever they turn to, it needs to be personal and provided in a simple and engaging way.

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In partnership with Standard Life

Standard Life are part of Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business. We both share an aligned ambition to help every customer enjoy a life full of possibilities.

Contact us today