Tens of thousands entering retirement each year without taking advice
New analysis from the Association of British Insurers shows very low levels of retirement readiness. While the advice gap remains, and grows in some cases, the pensions industry has an important role to play in helping customers make retirement decisions. This is why the ABI has published two communications guidance documents.
The analysis found that more than 62,000 people accessed some of their pension via drawdown for the first time during a six-month period last year, but 34% haven’t taken any form of financial advice. This worrying trend is echoed by the FCA who found that 91% of UK adults did not receive any financial advice in a 12-month period.
Advice is widely considered to be financially out of reach for most, which may explain why 21,000 people accessing a record-average pot size of £120,000 did so without ever having spoken to a financial adviser.
By doing so, thousands of retirees each month run the risk of making dangerous decisions about what to do with the large sums of cash they suddenly have access to, which could eventually lead to them running out of money too early and having to fall back on family members or the state just to cover expenses and the cost of living.
Whilst the average drawdown pot size of £120,000 is the highest on record, the ABI also found that the proportion of customers reaching retirement with more than £250,000 also doubled in the space of just two years (to 11%).
While the advice gap remains, and grows in some cases, the pensions industry has an important role to playing in helping customers make retirement decisions. This is why the ABI has published two communications guidance documents.
The first document, ‘Tailored Risk Warnings’, focuses on raising awareness of the risks that consumers face at different ages as they approach retirement. It recommends that customers receive three different forms of risk warnings at ages 50, then 55 to 70, and then at age 75. The different warnings cover scams and contributions for the younger groups, and then tax, life expectancy and power of attorney risks for the older groups – for example.
The second document, ‘Communications Through the Lifecourse’ focuses on the opportunities during different stages of the customer’s life. It highlights the need to speak to new 18-25 year olds differently to other age groups, in the same way that adults in their 50s will need to receive different messages as they draw closer to their retirement. By tailoring the messages they receive, firms should be giving consumer more confidence to make smart decisions about their future, based on the stage they’re currently at in their saving.