More than 20m have failed to review their pension in the past four years

27th October 2014

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Less than two-thirds of Britons still working – an estimated 23m people – have not reviewed their pension plans at all over the past four years.

Research from fund manager Baring Asset Management found that some 64% of non-retired people had been avoiding taking at look at what state their retirement finances are in and worryingly nearly half of respondents, at 43%, said they had never reviewed their retirement plans.

Despite the significant changes to global financial markets over the time period 61%, admitted to not reviewing their long-term savings and investments and just 22%, or one in five, said they had reviewed their investments over the past 12 months.

In the 55-64 year old market segment, the survey found that just over half, at 53%, had reviewed their retirement plans over the past four years – despite approaching the traditional age for retirement.

Just 18% of respondents in the 54-65 age range said they were ‘very’ aware of the level of risk involved in their investment portfolio, including their pensions, with a further 38% ‘fairly’ aware.  But overall, less than half, or 46%, of people said they were either very or fairly aware of the level of risk involved in their investments – up slightly from last year’s total of 43%.

Rod Aldridge, head of UK wholesale distribution at Barings, said: “It is absolutely vital to fully understand the asset allocation and risk profile of your retirement funds and pensions, otherwise the risk is that you could suffer from a misallocation of assets and be inappropriately invested.  This is particularly relevant for people leading up to the traditional retirement age.”

The research also found that two-fifths, or 41%, of non-retired people – the equivalent of 8.2m – opted for the default option when they reviewed their pension plans.  The number of people selecting the default options is the highest since the Barings survey began.

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