She said that people often find their workplace pensions confusing, as they can have trouble working out how much they and their employers are paying in, what type of scheme they have or whether they can move or consolidate their old pensions. They find it difficult to know or guess what they might end up with.
Ms O’Connor also said that there is more to retirement funding than just pensions, with some people also using ISAs, buy to let properties, and company dividend payments to help fund their retirements, adding yet another set of choices and decisions to the mix.
When savers enter their mid-fifties, Ms O’Connor said that the complexities “ramp up a notch” due to the number of options combined with the pressure to make the right choices, which she said “can be overwhelming.”
She explained: “With six main choices for how to access pensions, from flexi-access drawdown, to annuities, to Uncrystallised Fund Pension Lump Sums (UFPLS), it’s no wonder people are saying that pension freedoms are a ‘double-edged sword’.”
Ms O’Connor believes that too much flexibility is causing Britons to feel less confident they are making the right decision. She said: “The flipside of freedom may be anxiety and constant nagging doubts that you might have made the wrong decision with your pension – one that could cost you dearly. It’s very difficult to choose with confidence.