- 90% of Pension WiseOpens in a new window users say they’re well informed about their options for accessing their pension pots after an appointment or using its resources.
- Users are also much more likely to take financial actions than non-users.
- A third of people accessing a defined contribution pension in the past four years used the service, according to the FCA.
- MaPS urges over 50s to gather the information they need, use free resources like Pension Wise and “examine their options today” if they haven’t already.
A poll of 327 telephone appointment customers and online users, conducted four months after their interaction, shows that 90% feel well informed about the different options they have for accessing their pension pots.
This makes them considerably more likely to feel well informed than non-users (65% – 130 surveyed).
The free and impartial service, run by MaPS, is available to anyone over 50 and offers guidance on taking money from your pension pot. In addition, it explains how you’re taxed and helps look out for scams, with both personal telephone appointments and online resources available.
According to the research, Pension Wise is also inspiring people to take financial actions.
A considerable amount of telephone appointment customers and online users had ‘calculated how much income they’d need in retirement’ (70% and 65%), ‘spoken to their pension provider about their pension pot options’ (59% and 49%) and ‘consulted a financial professional’ (36% and 31%) in the following four months.
They were both much more likely to have done so than people who’d never used the service, with just 36%, 20% and 22% of non-users ever having taken these actions.
It also shows that Pension Wise plays an important role in the plans people make, with around half of telephone appointment customers (57%) and online users (44%) saying they changed how they accessed or intend to access their pension.
Both types of users (94%) were confident they could avoid a pension scam, compared to 88% of non-users.
The results come after the Financial Conduct Authority released its latest Financial Lives report last month, which showed around 525,000 of the 1.5 million people (35%) accessing a defined contribution pension in the last four years had used Pension Wise. Among those who had, 88% said it had helped them, with just 9% saying it did not.
According to the Department for Work and PensionsOpens in a new window, just one in eight people (13%) access their defined contribution pension without any information, guidance or advice.
Reflecting on the new data, MaPS says that now is the time for people over 50 to consider using Pension Wise as they begin to plan how they will access their pension pots. The organisation also wants to reach even more of those who aren’t using it in case they need its help and guidance.
According to its ongoing tracking research, 91% of telephone appointment customers are currently satisfied with the service, along with 73% of online users.
Lynsey Oliver, Pension Operations Service Lead at the Money and Pensions Service, said:
“Planning for the future and deciding how to access your pension can seem daunting, but it’s never too early to take that first step. If you’re over 50, it’s really important to examine your options and feel prepared for what’s next.
“Our service helps people feel informed, make good decisions and be even more wary of scams. Only one in eight people accessing a defined contribution pension do so without any information or advice, whereas a third have used Pension Wise in the last four years alone.
“However, there will always be more we can reach and we’re urging all over 50s to consider using a service like ours. It really can make all the difference long term and we’re here to help anyone and everyone who needs us.”