Large numbers of people in the UK lack basic financial literacy regarding pensions and their financial planning options for retirement, a leading advocate has claimed.
Sylvia Perrins, chief executive of the National Skills Academy for Financial Services, added: “Given that the pensions landscape is constantly changing, it is all the more important that individuals have this fundamental knowledge.
“This would mean they can enter a financial advice session feeling equipped to discuss their options, and be more confident about making key decisions that affect their financial future.”
Ms Perrins was commenting on a survey of advisers that her organisation had conducted with Axa Investment Managers, which showed that 95 per cent of those contacted had to spend nearly half an hour explaining the basics of pensions to new clients.
The two organisations have joined forces to launch Get Ready, a online learning tool providing basic information on workplace pensions. It is free for employees of companies registered to use it. For more information, visit www.nsafs.co.uk/financial-education/get-ready
Jackie Fancourt, an adviser at Derbyshire-based IFA Jay Financial said: “I agree with what the NSAFS has said. I have even had one member of a company scheme who did not realise there was a state pension! Most seem to understand the tax-free cash bit, but in general there is a poor understanding of pensions.”