What do our Silversurfers know about Pensions?

Some surprising results – Barometer Survey shows that many of our Silversurfers community are baffled by pensions.

Pensions … not something many of us find particularly interesting. But, it’s important that we’re all up to speed with what we are entitled to. Also, for those of us approaching retirement, it’s important to make sure we are planning for the future. That’s why we ran our Retirement and Pensions survey to find out what you think about pensions and also to provide some useful information for you on our website.

So first of all, a big thank you to our Silversurfers who participated in the survey of which 57% are retired and 43% are not yet retired.

Do you know what’s going on with pensions?

With all the pension changes which have been introduced recently we wanted to find out if the government’s communications have been effective.  So we asked if you knew at what age you would receive the State Pension. Worryingly 22% of you approaching retirement did not know the correct answer! So the government is not making things clear enough for us. And even though the government has been trying to tell us about changes, 72% of you don’t remember seeing any information about the changes.

Will your pension be enough?

Those of you who are already retired told us that most of you are funding your retirement with the State Pension (71%) and/or a Private Pension (77%) and we were pleased to see that more than half of you feel comfortable financially. Worryingly, 29% told us that you are OK, but struggling to make ends meet and 15% saying that you are struggling and need financial help.  Some of you who are parents are worrying about not leaving an inheritance (14%) and nearly 30% of you are worrying about not being able to pay your bills.

For those of you approaching retirement, even though many of you have a private pension that you and your employer have contributed to, 45% of you do not know how much you will receive each month from your pensions savings. Many of you (54%) said you’d like to retire at 60, but 63% of you realise that you won’t have enough money to retire when you would like to.

We wonder if there is so much uncertainty about the facts because most of you (73%) have never taken pensions advice. Reassuringly, 60% of you who have taken advice found it worthwhile. Also, some of you are aware of the free Government online tools you can use to help with planning for retirement, for example 45% of you knew about getting an online pension statement.

We’re going to help

We asked if you were worried about retirement and nearly 50% said you were extremely or very worried. This is awful! It has made us sit up and think how we can help you.

The Silversurfers team has decided that we need to provide some clear and understandable information about pensions. So we have discussed this with the Department of Works and Pensions and we will work with them to provide you with much clearer information and facts, all in one place. We don’t like our Silversurfers friends being worried or confused. We will be in touch when we have updated our Pension advice pages.

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Mother of three grown-up daughters I am the ultimate multi-tasker and am passionate about my role as Silversurfers Website Editor and Social Media Manager. Always on the lookout for all things that will interest and entertain our community. Fueling fun for the young at heart!

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25th Mar 2017
Thanks for voting!
We 1950s women really need clear information on the impact of GMPs and contracting out on the new State Pension. The DWP and Govt website don't seem to have the answers and neither do most financial advisors. EG, if a former employer is paying extra (GMP) pension, due to a woman having been contracted out, does that increased pension continue once the woman reaches delayed State Pension Age (66 for those born mid 1950s onwards)? Or does the workplace pension then drastically reduce (the GMP element can be 50% or more of the workplace pension!), and the State Pension make up the difference (or only a fraction of the difference)? What was the one-off Govt "raid" on GMPS that is supposed to have been made in 2016? Why is the DWP telling 1950s women that, where their projected State Pension is reduced because of a period of contracting out, the women can go back to work and pay extra years' NI contributions (beyond the 35 years required?) to make up some of the loss from the contracting out? And, if that happens, what happens to the GMP element of the workplace pension? It's an absolute nightmare for mid-1950s women who have had nearly £50,000 income, over just 6 years, taken away with 0 to 3 years' written notice from the DWP of an Act passed in 1995 (and another in 2011!), but not communicated to the women worst affected until 2009 or 2012 earliest. The SPA for women was 60 for over 50 years, yet Govt and the DWP did not bother to write to every working age woman in 1995 (nor to have simple notes put on payslips, P60s, tax code notices, etc, to make sure we were all informed). Also, when the new State Pension came in (April 2016), we were told that we would receive our State Pensions on whichever was best of the old or new basis (pre or post April 2016 bases), yet we are only being given figures based on the new State Pension, with no comparison or choice regarding the old basis. Hope you can help by giving us these answers as we desperately need to be clear before we make any more financial decisions based on pension expectations that may not be met!
9th Aug 2016
Thanks for voting!
Thank you for all that information Sally. I'm one of those who was expecting to, and had made plans to, retire and 60, until the goal posts were moved. I am now 61 and having to continue working. My husband retired early. Had I been able to have my pension when I expected it, we would have been able to manage and both enjoying retirement now, together. It is great that you are going to do a bit of useful information gathering and research on behalf of the community, so many thanks for taking that on. I am sure it will be well received.

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