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Workers 'need access to advice' when planning retirement

03 October 2012

People need to make sure they have enough knowledge of the pensions industry.

On Monday (October 1st) the first stage of auto-enrolment - the government's flagship programme for encouraging more people to save into a workplace pension - was rolled out. It is hoped that 4.3 million people will be in a workplace pension by May 2015.

However, research by unbiased.co.uk has discovered that there is a significant lack of awareness among those who do have a pension. Because of this, access to the right type of advice is essential to make sure their pension is working for them.

It found that three-in-five women do not know how much they have in their pension pot. When pension savers were asked about the total value of their retirement fund, 27 per cent of those who had received advice could not give an accurate response, while this figure rose to 51 per cent for non-advised people.

Knowledge is power

Karen Barrett, chief executive of unbiased.co.uk, noted the study shows the importance that can be attached to knowledge.

There is a real benefit from taking advice, leaving pension savers better informed and feeling more engaged with their finances, which inevitably will help them to make well thought out decisions on their financial situation," she added.

She added the buzz phrase of the current generation is retirement planning, but people need to realise that advice needs to be given out on a case-by-case basis.

Embracing auto-enrolment

The Confederation of British Industry has thrown its backing behind the auto-enrolment initiative. John Cridland, director-general of the body, said: "Boosting pension savings will help us look after our increasing number of elderly people and tackle the ticking retirement time-bomb."

For some however, the policy may come too close to their retirement to have a big impact. Because of this, individuals over the age of 55 may want to consider equity release plans as a way of boosting their post-work income.

Anyone keen to find out more about equity release can ask Key Retirement Solutions for advice and information.