People are being turned off saving by the negative publicity that continues to dog pensions, leading advisers to raise concerns about the effects of “sensationalist” research such as the recent Consumer Focus report.
A British Population Survey of 1,002 people, conducted in December 2010 on behalf of Alan Steel Asset Management, found that around 26 per cent were employed but were not making any pension provision.
Out of the 266 people who fell into this category, 7 per cent say they do not contribute into a pension scheme due to bad publicity over pensions. Only 4 per cent do not pay into a pension because charges are too high.
Over 50 per cent say they do not have a pension because they cannot afford one while 14 per cent say they do not trust pension companies.
Informed Choice managing director Martin Bamford says: “Bad publicity influences people, so I am not surprised it puts some people off becoming a member of a pension scheme.
“There is a danger when organisations like Consumer Focus come forward with sensationalist findings which get converted into big, bold headlines. That is what the majority of consumers read and they are unlikely to dig down into the detail.”
Syndaxi Chartered Financial Planners managing director Robert Reid says: “The Consumer Focus research was awful because it is totally focused on charges. The idea that charges have been a massive problem is a nonsense. But bad publicity is a problem and I think any organisation thinking of producing some research which could put people off saving needs to think twice before publishing it. We all have a responsibility to encourage more people to save.”