Eleven million people would boost their retirement savings if only they knew more about this particular pensions rule change

Hayley Kirton
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Money Does Grow On Trees
Unfortunately, money trees were not among last year's pension changes (Source: Getty)

As many as 11.4m people could be encouraged to boost their pensions savings if they had more information about a rule change that came in last year, research out today has found.

The study by Aegon found that a third (33 per cent) of the 4,000 people surveyed were clueless about the pension freedoms, which came into force last April and, in short, allow those over 55 to access their pension savings without first purchasing an annuity.

An additional third (32 per cent), while aware of the changes, are not sure how they will affect their retirement savings.

Read more: Forget "retirement": Why we should really be aiming for salary independence

Given that Aegon has also found that 15 per cent of people have increased their pension contributions as a direct result of the pension freedoms, the investment company calculated that approximately 11.4m people could be encouraged to save more for their golden years if there was more information available about the freedoms.

"Our research shows that people who know about the pension freedoms exhibit positive behaviours towards their retirement savings, saving more and actively taking steps to make a change or to review their retirement plans," explained Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon. "While many may think that pension freedoms are just relevant to those at retirement this simply isn’t the case and it’s encouraging that even those who are 20, 30 and in some cases 40 years away from retirement are motivated, once they appreciate the freedoms, to improve their savings habits."

Read more: Why the UK is facing a time bomb of retirement woes

However, those who have heard of the freedoms are not completely without their concerns. Almost one in five (19 per cent) are worried that they might take too much money too soon and will outlive their savings, while more than a quarter (28 per cent) are unsure of where to turn to for support if they have any questions.

Cameron added: "With freedom comes personal responsibility and our industry also needs to innovate to find ways of protecting individuals from running out of pension funds when they still have many years of retirement to go."

Research released earlier this year by Aegon discovered that just 12 per cent of UK adults are currently on track to achieve the retirement of their dreams, although this was up from the seven per cent who said they were on track when the same question was asked the year before.

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