Pension firms are not completely trusted

Stephan Shakespeare
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IN the latest YouGov SixthSense Pensions Report, two-thirds of YouGov respondents say they “do not have complete trust in pensions companies”.

Meanwhile, of the companies mentioned in the survey, Scottish Widows were the most highly regarded – one in four respondents who know of the company ranked it as their number one pensions provider, leaving the likes of Aviva (19 per cent) and Prudential (16 per cent) trailing.

When considering state pensions, the picture is markedly different. Only nine per cent of respondents agreed that “the state retirement pension is a luxury we can no longer afford”.

Respondents were also asked whether or not they agreed with the statement: “Pension credits reward people who are not bothered to save”.

The number of those who agreed was markedly skewed towards those in the more affluent social grouping (ABC1). Thirty-eight per cent of the better off are wary of the current system of awarding pensions; only 29 per cent of C2DEs found reason to suspect pension credits go to undeserving spendthrifts.

In the same report, aspects of the current system are deemed inequitable.

The fact that those in the 40 per cent tax bracket benefit proportionally more from the tax relief on their private pension contributions than those in the 20 per cent bracket is widely derided; two thirds of respondents said that this “discrimination in favour of the better off” is unfair.

Despite apparent discord in some areas of the pension debate, there are topics that draw similar opinions from across the societal divide.

Fifty-two per cent of YouGov respondents (with ABC1s and C2DEs recording equal levels of support) agree that pensions based on individual contributions are unfair to those who are not earning because they are caring for children, the elderly and/or the disabled.

Stephan Shakespeare is founder and chief executive of YouGov.