This figure rose to nearly two-thirds (65%) for women who were confused about their choices, according to the research from Just Group. They were also half as likely as men to be aware of the free guidance on offer from Pension Wise with only 12% of women aware they could access it.
The research also found that only 28% of 45 to 54-year-olds knew what they planned to do with their retirement savings.
Women were also more uncertain about what they planned to do with their retirement savings with under a quarter (24%) being sure of their plans.
The research was between 3rd and 10th August 2020 on behalf of Just Group by Opinium with 1,000 UK adults aged 45 to 54.
Stephen Lowe, group communications director at Just Group, said the research shows stronger support is needed for the majority of those facing life-changing choices when deciding how to get the best value from their pension benefits.
In a recent debate on the Pension Schemes Bill, MPs put forward the case for automatically booking Pension Wise appointments for people when they reached the age of 50. According to the Financial Conduct Authority’s retirement income market data 2019/20, only 14% of consumers currently receive guidance from Pension Wise before accessing their pensions.
Mr Lowe said the research strengthens the case for automatic guidance appointments for those nearing retirement: “The DWP’s recent ‘stronger nudge’ proposal made clear that they want guidance to become “a normal part” of the process. The ‘norm’ is a significant majority of people – much like pension contributions have become ‘the norm’ since auto-enrolment – and it is certainly not a meagre 14%. To make good on this promise, the FCA and the Pensions Regulator must have some tactics up their sleeve to transform usage to an accepted norm. Perhaps now will be a good time to trial automatic appointment booking into the Pension Wise guidance service.”