Pension freedoms: the six biggest concerns

Pension confusion

The fear of running out of money tops the "worry list" of savers' concerns, both ahead of and during retirement, a poll of 252 financial advisers has found.

The survey, conducted by fund manager Schroders, asked advisers to name their clients' biggest concerns. A third of the votes, 33%, went to worries over "running out of money/how long they will live".

Second place on the worry list was not knowing the total amount needed for retirement, which polled 24%; followed by "how much money do I need to take each year?", which took 16% of the vote.

The other three big concerns were: uncertainty over how much should be set aside in a pension each year (11%); worries about further falls in income (8%); and not understanding drawdown (7%). The remainder of the vote was "other".

 

Massive advice gap

When separately quizzed on the pension freedoms, financial advisers named "the increased flexibility" as their number one positive, followed by more engagement from interested clients and an increase in clients seeking advice.

In terms of negatives, the number one concern aired was a "lack of foresight - clients withdrawing too much from their pot". The second biggest negative named was "complexity and lack of information", followed by "ability to access without advice".

It is worth pointing out, however, that in the case of the latter concern, those with small pots - as a rule of thumb typically less than £50,000 - are unlikely to be serviced by a financial adviser or a wealth manager.

 

Of those advisers surveyed by Schroders, 20% said they have formally asked small clients to leave their practice since the Retail Distribution Review came into force in 2013. Half of those clients asked to leave had assets of less than £50,000.

James Rainbow, co-head of Schroders UK intermediary business, said: "There's a massive knowledge gap, but also an advice gap.

"Some of the advisers we surveyed said that portfolios up to £100,000 do not make sense from a business perspective. [Yet] when making really important decisions about your long-term future, it is important to seek out financial advice."

This story was originally published for our sister magazine, Money Observer.

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