Over 55s unconvinced by Osborne’s pension freedoms


Fewer than half of over 55s are convinced George Osborne’s pension freedom reforms are a good thing, new research suggests.

An online survey commissioned by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries quizzed 1,408 people aged 55 or over, but found the British public remains divided on the landmark reforms.

Just 44 per cent said the changes were either a fairly good or very good thing, while 29 per cent said the opposite. The remainder said the reforms were either neutral or that they didn’t know.

Scepticism was strongest among those aged over 65, where just one-in-three said the freedoms were positive, compared to roughly half of those aged 55-64.

While the survey found that almost three quarters of savers were aware of the changes, it also indicated widespread confusion about the distinction between guidance and advice.

Some 45 per cent of over 55s said they didn’t understand the difference between the two.

When split by social status, 62 per cent of middle class respondents said they were confident of their understanding, compared to just 44 per cent of those from the working class.

IFoA president Fiona Morrison says: “There is some good news in the findings, with a high proportion of respondents being aware of the freedoms.

“However this knowledge doesn’t appear to follow through to their understanding of the difference between the guidance that is provided through the Government’s Pension Wise service and regulated financial advice.”