Pension pot knowledge is poor

18 September 2012

Less than one in 10 savers know exactly how much is in their pension pot, according to new research1 into Britain's pension crisis by Nationwide Building Society.

A survey of more than 1,000 working UK adults suggested just nine per cent know the correct value of their pension pot, with a further 36 per cent suggesting they have 'a rough idea'.

These figures follow on from the launch of The Nationwide Annuity Service, which aims to boost savers' annual retirement income by up to 20 per cent.

The service takes the hard work out of choosing the right annuity by outlining customers' financial options in retirement and supporting them throughout the application process. It provides access through The Open Market Annuity Service (TOMAS*) to a panel of six leading annuity providers, carefully chosen and regularly reviewed by Nationwide on the basis of their financial strength, customer service and competitive rates. They are currently Aviva, Canada Life, Just Retirement, Legal & General, LV=, and Partnership.

The service aims to help people tailor an annuity to their personal circumstances, to help maximise the income they could receive each year. For example, customers are asked to disclose their lifestyle and medical histories - such as smoking and any medical conditions, including diabetes or high blood pressure - to see if they may qualify for a higher retirement income from an enhanced annuity.

The survey also suggested just 12 per cent of working Britons with a private pension scheme know exactly how much projected annual income their pension pot may provide them with when they retire. Almost half of respondents said they have 'a rough idea' (49%), while over a third said they have 'no clue' (39%).

John Wilkinson, head of protection and investments at Nationwide Building Society, said: "In any walk of life, knowledge is key and the same applies to pensions. It is crucial to check your pension pot regularly to see how much is saved, and to ensure that the funds are performing as well as they should.

"Don't ignore the issue because it won't go away. Make sure you read your pension statement and understand how much you have and how much it may be worth when you retire. Remember, it is the value of that pot, which will ensure whether you have a relaxing, enjoyable retirement or not.

That is why we have launched our new Annuity Service because we want to help people achieve the best possible retirement income."

Notes to editors:

1 Source: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,114 adults, of which 1,168 are working adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 12th-14th September 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

*The Nationwide Annuity Service is provided by Nationwide Building Society and administered by The Open Market Annuity Service ltd (TOMAS)

About Nationwide Building Society

Nationwide is the world's largest building society as well as the second largest savings provider and a top-three provider of mortgages in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million customers.

Customers can manage their finances in branch, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 15,000 employees. Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.

Please note: If you are a customer looking for information on our products and services, please visit the main website.