Brits lack faith in Government over pensions

23 June 2008 / by Daniela Gieseler
Sixty-six per cent of Britons do not trust the Government to provide retirees with an adequate pension, research from the life and pensions company Friends Provident has revealed.

This is a slight improvement compared with 2005, when Friends Provident commissioned a similar study, and 73 per cent said they would not count on the Government to improve their pension prospects.

Since then the Government has reinforced their efforts to enhance pensions, has introduced the Pensions Bill and compensated workers who had lost their pensions due to the bankruptcy of their companies.

The main reason for the continuing lack of trust seems to be the way the Government is running the state pension. The vast majority (87 per cent) of non-retired survey respondents believe the Government will fail to provide them with a state pension to fund their retirement adequately. By contrast, a mere three per cent believe their state pension would be sufficient to live on during retirement.

Twenty-one per cent stated they had completely lost confidence in the Government handling their pension, and only five per cent would entrust Gordon Brown with their pension fund.

Almost half (47 per cent) have taken measures to improve their situation in advance by putting money into a personal pension, and a further 22 per cent plan to start saving shortly.

In order to restore faith in the Government, 43 per cent would ask for a larger, fairer state pension, 12 per cent said it would help to be automatically enrolled in a workplace pension, and nine per cent said an equal balance between private and public sector pensions would be the best solution.

The study also highlighted that people place more trust in a pensions provider (27 per cent) or employer (16 per cent) than in the Government when handling their pension provisions.

Jeremy Ward, head of pensions marketing at Friends Provident, commented: "Our research shows that the public still lacks faith in the Government when it comes to pensions. Many people want to see greater commitment to state pensions, with a larger and fairer state pension proving most popular."

He continued to emphasise that: "It is important for people dissatisfied in the Government's handling of pensions to take responsibility for their own future and make provision for their retirement while they are still working."

© Fair Investment Company Ltd