Apathy still prevails in poll on pensions

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The Independent Online
IN THE wake of the Maxwell pension fund debacle, you would think that people might be a little more aware of how their pensions are run and what is happening to the money, writes Mary Wilson.

But a new survey out this week, The Pensions Gap, highlights that the general public is as apathetic as ever towards the lifeline that keeps people afloat in retirement.

Over 6,000 people, in and out of work, were interviewed by Gallup. Out of these, 25 per cent will be entirely dependent on the state pension when they retire - 66 per cent of them have never considered taking out a personal pension.

Nearly half of those questioned said that extra income would come from company schemes, and 46 per cent from personal pension schemes. The most well-informed were the self-employed, with nearly three-quarters knowing what to expect. And over half with company schemes did not know how their final figure is calculated, with the lack of understanding rising sharply among women (66 per cent), the young (74 per cent) and the less well-off (66 per cent).

So just how worried were people, after the Maxwell affair, that something similar might happen to their scheme? The majority (58 per cent) were obviously trusting and said they were unconcerned. The most concerned were those near retirement (43 per cent over 45 years old) and the lower income groups, 48 per cent.

'The Pensions Gap' is available from Cox & Co, 98 Highgate West Hill, London N6 6NR, for pounds 200. (081-340 4399).