Over-55s shun free Pension Wise service

Pension on calculator

Despite now having access to free guidance in the form of the government's Pension Wise service, most people say they would prefer to do their own research online, over the telephone, or even just by asking friends and family.

In a survey of 2,000 over-55s, advice firm Sanlam found that only one in five plans to use the government's Pension Wise guidance service to help them in retirement, despite it being free to use for all people approaching retirement age.

In a separate line of questioning, the survey found that just over one in three people think they will live longer than the money they have set aside for retirement will last.

Previous research suggests only a minority of British over-55s feel they have saved enough to ensure a reasonable standard of living throughout retirement, and worse, that one in five has not saved into a pension at all.

Find the best pension funds available on your selected pension platform

Confusion and uncertainty

"The confusion and uncertainty displayed by consumers who have been impacted by the pension reforms exposes the risk that many over-55s could begin making significant changes to their lifetime savings without any form of professional advice or guidance," says Sanlam's Alex Morley.

"As the cost of living goes up and people are living longer, we could end up with a large number of people exhausting their private pensions and having to rely on the government to support them in their later years."

This article was written for our sister publication Money Observer

More about

Your Comments

I am 66 and retired. I contacted PensionWise for some general advice about the tax treatment of payments from an (untouched) fund - only to be told that as I wasn't contemplating using the fund within the next 6 months I couldn't use the service! So much for forward planning.

As above.. I didn't shun it. I registered for pension guidance but received an email saying that as I wasn't due to retire anytime soon (I'm 57) I should contact them nearer the time. I wanted info about the pension reforms that allow me to access my pension now. Who's paying for this appalling service? Oh! that would be us. That figures.