Pensions ‘becoming a national priority’

New research has revealed that pension saving is becoming established as a national priority.

In research carried out for NEST (National Employment Savings Trust), a workplace pension scheme open to all employers and the self-employed, 2,000 people were asked how they would allocate their money if they had more of it to spend.

Saving for retirement was ranked the third highest priority for the second year running, coming behind only holidays and saving for a rainy day on a list of priorities.

The research, carried out at the end of last year and published on 26 January, suggests that the pensions auto-enrolment initiative that began in 2012 may be helping to drive this attitude. More than three quarters (77 per cent) of consumers agreed it was a good thing, up from 68 per cent in 2013 and 63 per cent in 2011, and 41 per cent of people who had opted out of auto-enrolment previously said they would stay in when re-enrolled, compared with 19 per cent in 2013.

Despite the new pension freedoms announced in the 2014 Budget, which take effect in April, only seven per cent of people said they planned to withdraw their whole pot in one go. More than one in three (34 per cent) people said they would think about their retirement plans sooner and 29 per cent planned to pay more into their pension as a result of the reforms.

Tim Jones, chief executive at NEST, said: “It is hugely positive to see that pensions are becoming embedded as a national priority.

“Until recently, millions of people were not saving for retirement. Auto-enrolment and now the new pension freedoms have changed all this – reform is leading to a pension revolution.

“Five million more people are now saving for their future and support for auto-enrolment continues to grow, even among those who have so far opted out. It shows just how far we have come. Saving for later life is fast becoming the ‘new normal’, which is fantastic news.”