Poll catches people unaware of their pension’s existence

A poll by management consultancy AT Kearney of more than 2000 adults earning up to £39,999 a year found a quarter were unsure of whether they had any pension arrangements at work, while 29 per cent of those earning more than £100,000 were also unaware.

Neil Dennington, principal of AT Kearney, said education was needed to make people better informed.

He said: “Everyday we see so many lurid headlines about the financial industry in the press, yet it appears that these shock tactics are simply not working. Significant percentages of the people we spoke to weren’t even aware of whether they had a pension or not. People, of all ages, are really only thinking about the ‘here and now’ in terms of their finances and seem unable or unwilling to plan financially for the future.”

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“The government and the FSA’s focus appear to be much more on policing cases of mis-selling, than addressing the much bigger issue that the great majority of the population are undereducated about their finances.”

He said financial education has to start early in a person’s school life.

Mike Wellby, director of Lancashire-based Honeybee Financial Planners, said: “There is a general lack of awareness of what the workplace provides in terms of pensions. I am sure people do get told when they first join the firm, but there tends to be a lot going on at the time.

“When we speak to people they constantly do not know what is available to them. It is a common feature.”