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18 May 2022

People ‘more likely to scrutinise current account charges than pension costs’

People ‘more likely to scrutinise current account charges than pension costs’

People are more likely to pay close attention to their current account or mortgage costs than the charges they pay for their pension, a survey has found.

Less than half (48%) of those with a pension said they “care” about the charges they pay on their retirement pots.

This compares with around seven in 10 of those with a mortgage or a current account who pay close attention to what they pay, at 71% and 70% respectively.

The research was commissioned by B&CE, provider of the People’s Pension, a workplace pension scheme serving more than five million pension savers across the UK.

A YouGov poll of more than 1,600 people across the UK with a pension found that, among those who said they do not care about the charges they pay, nearly one in five (18%) have not got round to looking into or thinking about what they are paying.

One in six (16%) do not think they have enough savings to make a difference and 14% do not believe charges will make a difference to their pension savings when they retire.

This is despite higher charges having the potential to eat away at someone’s savings, leaving them with less money to live on in retirement.

Just over one in 10 (11%) people believe pension charges are too complex to understand, while 10% think it would be too difficult to find out what charges they pay.

B&CE said it believes pension charges should be shown in pounds and pence on annual statements to improve transparency.

Director of Policy Phil Brown said: “This research is further evidence that the average saver doesn’t understand the impact that charges can have on their pension pot.

“At a time when people are naturally watching what they spend, it’s important that consumers are aware of what they are paying for their pension, which is potentially the most valuable asset many people own.

“Total transparency around charges is vital. We’ll be adding charges, in pounds and pence, on our members’ annual statements this year, and are calling on other providers to do the same.”

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