Pensions: A hard nut to crack for UK investors

Ninety-five percent of UK financial advisers in the UK have to explain the basics of pensions to new clients, according to recent research by the National Skills Academy for Financial Services (NSAFS) in partnership with AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM).

Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 205 online interviews with UK Financial Advisers from 5th to 11th August 2015.

The research also showed that advisers typically spend an average of 27 minutes talking through the pensions basics, longer than the time needed for investments, mortgages, savings and bonds.

Eighty percent of financial advisers think that the general knowledge of pensions across the UK is basic, where clients have no awareness about what they can do today to impact their lifestyle in retirement.

The findings come against the backdrop of an evolving pensions landscape, which means that individuals are facing a more complex range of decisions related to their retirement planning.

Not a single adviser responded that their client had an ‘advanced knowledge’ of their pension, where clients were fully in control of their pension arrangements and only required minimal investment advice. A separate consumer survey revealed that there are significant gaps in education on preparing for “life in retirement”, as 47% of people wish they were educated on retirement options at an earlier age.

Stephanie Condra, Retirement Market Strategist at AXA IM explains: “It’s clear that there is a need for better financial education in the UK so that people feel empowered and in control of their retirement planning. Given our research found that advisers spend nearly half an hour talking through the basics, a pensions education tool would surely be beneficial to help individuals Get Ready for a meeting with an adviser, enabling them to use their valuable time more effectively.

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