Gogglebox stars Steph and Dom talk pensions

15 December 2014

"So, how much is your pension worth?" Gogglebox star Steph Parker asks husband Dom. "About eight quid," comes the perhaps surprising reply from the other half of the nation's favourite toff couple.

But this exchange doesn't take place in the comfort of their sitting room, which is now familiar to millions of Brits, but somewhere no doubt of equal comfort – the local pub.

"How much do I get?" Steph responds. "About one," Dom chuckles.

"I'm not even sure I've got a pension," adds Steph.

The Goggleboxers have teamed up with Standard Life to talk pensions. In a film short called The Next Round with Steph and Dom, the comedy duo are joined by "real people" in the pub to talk about their plans for the future and the impact of the April 2015 pension changes.

As well as cracking some jokes about how Steph might top up her pension (which, sadly, Moneywise can't repeat), topics they discuss include the ability to take a 25% lump sum tax-free at age 55 and the how retirees will be able to do whatever they want with the rest of their funds.

Some of the other changes due to be introduced in April include no longer being required to purchase an annuity upon retirement and easier access to flexible drawdown (previously, you had to prove you had pension income of at least £20,000 to qualify; although this has been cut to £12,000 between now and April).

While one fellow drinker jokingly says he plans to build a kit car to relive his youth with his money while keeping the rest for a rainy day, another says she believes that most people who have been "bright enough" to save towards their old age should be trusted to spend it responsibly. She adds that she's glad the new pension changes announced in the March Budget seem to treat pension savers as "grown ups".

However, humour is never far away with the flamboyant B&B owners at hand. When asked about what her own plans for retirement are, Steph replies: "A toyboy." She goes on to suggest a new plan to her husband. "I'll retire, you work and I'll go on holiday."

On a more serious note, Dom admits "like a lot of people, I'm not actually sure what's in my pot."

Recent research by Standard Life has found "a widespread lack of awareness regarding the [pension] reforms, and among those who are aware, misconceptions are prevalent," said the company.

A quarter of people aged of 50 to 65 with a pension were unaware of the pension reforms at all and 78% didn't know what the reforms will mean for them.

Gogglebox's Dom said: "The new pension freedoms are going to put people more in control. We all need to get more savvy so we don't get to mid-retirement and realise we just haven't done enough."

Steph added: "Pensions aren't the easiest things to get your head around. I can't remember the last time I actually stopped to think about my pension. With the new changes coming next year, it's really important to know the ins and outs and plan ahead."

You can watch Steph and Dom's video for Standard Life here.

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