Worryingly low level of retirement planning engagement

When was the last time you checked the value of your pension pot? According to new research, almost half of pension savers in the UK have not looked at the level of their retirement savings since the onset of the pandemic.

The survey of 1,281 UK adults over age 40 was carried out by My Pension Expert and reveals a lack of pension engagement.

46% of respondents said they had not checked their pension pots in the past year, and 78% said they have not carried out a thorough review of their retirement planning during that time.

The research also found that only 14% of people have approached an independent financial adviser for advice on their retirement planning strategy.

Despite the economic downturn prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic, very few people appear to have adjusted their retirement planning, with only 15% of respondents reporting making a change to their pensions in the past year.

Andrew Megson, executive chairman of My Pension Expert, said:

“Neglecting one’s pension can be dangerous at the best of times. However, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, it can cause even more damage to our financial futures.”

The report found that the average UK saver has accumulated a little over £60,000 in their pension pot.

As well as demonstrating a lack of engagement with retirement planning, the research also found that 9% of savers decided to move some or all of their pension investments into higher-risk assets, in an attempt to accelerate the growth of their savings.

Megson added:

“The research highlights that people don’t seem to know or care how much they have saved for retirement. This could mean that individuals may not realise they have inadequate funds until it’s too late, causing inevitable panic – and panic drives savers to make impulsive and potentially damaging financial decisions, such as placing their money in high-risk investments without proper consideration.

“However, these rash decisions can be avoided. By simply checking in on their pension pot on a regular basis, people will be able to monitor the effectiveness of their retirement strategy and seek financial advice should adjustments be required. I urge savers to take this step sooner rather than later. Doing so could make the difference between a comfortable and a strained retirement.”