Only a third (31 per cent) of U.K. pension plan members say they have sufficient retirement savings, down slightly from 32 per cent in 2022, according to a survey by Trafalgar House.

The survey, which polled 2,000 adults, found 48 per cent believe they’ve saved much less than they need, up from 45 per cent. Indeed, the percentage of respondents who believe they can retire early decreased from 19 per cent to 18 per cent. More than half (54 per cent) said they feel they’ll either need to retire late, never or they don’t know when. However, the percentage of respondents who said they’ll never be able to retire decreased to nine per cent from 11 per cent.

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On a scale of one to 10, the average level of respondents’ trust and confidence was 5.26 and 22 per cent said they don’t have any or much trust in the pensions industry. However, the average level of trust and confidence has increased year-over-year from 2020 (4.46) to 2021 (4.63) and 2022 (4.95).  There was also a significant increase in the percentage of respondents who said they have a reasonable amount (5.8 per cent) or a lot (0.9 per cent) of trust and confidence in the industry.

Among those who said they have a little or a lot of trust in online pension communications (39.5 per cent), a majority said they like that they can access their information quickly (78 per cent), they’re used to managing their other finances online (54 per cent) and that they can access their information wherever they are (50 per cent).

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When asked about the most important factor for building trust in pensions, clear communication was the most popular response, rising from 11.7 per cent to 16.5 per cent. Technology remained an important component for respondents and 22.3 per cent said the availability of an app or website is the most important factor for them, up from 21.4 per cent. Notably, no respondents said there was nothing that could be done to improve their trust in the industry, down from 9.2 per cent in 2022.

Meanwhile, fewer than half (46.3 per cent) said their experience communicating with their pension administration was either very or fairly positive, down from from 54.1 per cent. Clarity of information was the most important factor determining how plan members rated their interaction and was the No. 1 reason among two-fifths (41.4 per cent) of respondents who said they’ve had a positive interaction. By contrast, 30.5 per cent also blamed clarity of information for their negative experience. Speed of service was also cited by fewer than a fifth (15.6 per cent) of respondents who had a negative experience.

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