Stakeholder pensions message failing to get through

Only half the population know
what a stakeholder pension is, according to a new survey.

Marks & Spencer Financial
Services conducted a ‘stakeholder barometer’ and found:

● 51 per cent of UK population
has heard of stakeholder pensions

● 33 per cent are relying on the
State for their pension

● 41 per cent have not taken out
a pension because they cannot afford one

● 33 per cent of 18 to 24 year
olds say that they feel too young to start a pension

● 62 per cent of those who have
heard of stakeholder do not know the benefits

The barometer shows that the
original wave of enthusiasm for stakeholder pensions has waned. In particular,
fewer people understand the benefits of the new-style pensions than they did at
launch.

Alan Rensch, pensions technical
manager at Marks & Spencer Financial Services, said: "At a time when
there are concerns about the number of people without proper pension provision,
more needs to be done to highlight the fact that stakeholder pensions are a
viable low-cost alternative to personal pensions.  

"The basic message that
people need to consider is saving for their future is truer than ever, but the
question is how will they do that? Stakeholder pensions have already had a
significant impact on both the pensions industry and the public. The cap on
charges has forced providers to offer pensions with transparent charging
structures and greater flexibility. The next step is to raise people’s
awareness and understanding of these low-cost pension schemes and for the
government to simplify pensions for all."

The survey interviewed 1,598
adults aged 18 to 65.

By Quentin Reade

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