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UK shows lowest level of pensions knowledge

Retirement_shortfallA survey of defined contribution (DC) pension fund members across much of the English-speaking world indicated that UK participants have the worst level of knowledge about financial strategies for retirement.

Eight out of ten UK active scheme members and nearly 80% of those already retired from DC plans had little or no idea about how to develop a retirement savings plan, according to the MFS Investment Management-commissioned research.

The survey covered 700 participants and 300 retirees in the United States, UK, Canada and Australia and also found that over one-third of UK participants did not know how much their employer was contributing to their retirement plan.

Madeline Forrester, managing director, UK institutional business at MFS, said: “Participant knowledge was low in every country we surveyed but in other regions knowledge increased as participants reached retirement and this is not happening in the UK.”

In the UK, knowledge of converting retirement savings into monthly income was low with 80% of DC participants and 75% of retirees having little or no knowledge about converting retirement savings into monthly income for living expenses.

When examining gender differences, males felt more knowledgeable about financial and retirement planning.

Forrester added: “Knowledge of the UK pensions systems is limited. There is a serious lack of awareness around services such as the free pension planning guidance.

“Nine in ten retirees surveyed have never accessed free pension planning guidance services.”

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