Quarter of people 'not responsible' for retirement choices

Quarter of people 'not responsible' for retirement choices

About a quarter of people feel they are not responsible for their retirement and would be inclined to blame others should anything go wrong.

A report from State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) published last week found a third of individuals felt they were not responsible for their retirement, while 75 to 77 per cent thought they were responsible above their employer or state pension provider.

The 28 page-long Global Retirement Reality Report, which had surveyed people at different points in their retirement, found people in the UK and Ireland, US and Australia were more likely to welcome responsibility for their retirement than people in other countries, however.

Michael Pashley, financial planner at Expert Pensions, said: "It’s shocking that as much as a [quarter] of people don’t feel responsible to provide for themselves in their own retirement.  

"While it’s true that we have good things like auto enrolment and the state pension, people are living longer and the state pension system is already under strain. People seem to forget that they will still need money to live on when they retire."

At the same time the UK scored lowest alongside Germany and the Netherlands on consumer trust in retirement savings systems, with a score of 2.2 out of 5.

According to SSGA, countries undergoing the most reform to pensions had the least trust in pension savings, with the UK scoring a ‘medium’ trust score on account of pension freedoms and introduction of the Lifetime Isa.

It stated: "For individuals to trust the retirement system, the system should follow a set of understood and enforceable rules and second, outcomes should be reasonably predictable.

"In the case of retirement savings structures, these conditions translate into savers’ confidence that the system works and the expectation that by participating in it, they will receive the promised benefit at retirement.

"Many countries are undergoing significant retirement reforms that introduce confusion and doubt: confusion around how the new systems work and doubt as to whether they do."

Meanwhile, of individuals in the UK, who were working and not planning to retire in the next 5 years or approaching retirement, 38 per cent said they felt confident they would be able to afford the lifestyle that they want in retirement.

Of that same demographic, 11 per cent said they were happy about their financial situation.

Mr Pashley said: "It’s no surprise that trust of the pension saving system in the UK is low. The system was overhauled in 2006 and after that pension freedoms were introduced.  

“The amount of changes happening and the rules that are being introduced are making the system difficult to understand and very complex. People don’t want to have to look up pension legislation all the time, they want peace of mind."

When it came to investing, 28 per cent of individuals in the UK felt it was important that their investments incorporated companies with ethical values.