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Pension peril: More than one in seven people never check their pension value

by uma
gawdo

 

  • 15% of people never check their pension while 4% check it every day.
  • One fifth (21%) check their pension value once a year and a further 21% check it more than once a year but not monthly.
  • 15% said they checked it once a month.
  • Checking your pension every day may lead to anxiety during times of market turbulence. However, not checking it at all risks you entering retirement with inadequate savings.

Survey of 1,200 people carried out by Opinium on behalf of HL in September 2022

Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown:

“Pensions are a long-term game, but it is good to check in periodically to make sure your savings remain on track. However, more than one in seven of us are risking pension peril by never checking our pension value and so have no real idea of how well prepared (or otherwise) they might be. This could lead to nasty shock as you get closer to retirement and you realise you are not on track with your retirement goals and have left yourself with very little time to make up lost ground. It may also make it easier to lose track of old pensions you have had with previous employers and you could be missing out on thousands of pounds in lost income as a result.

It can be tempting when your annual statements come in to chuck them on a pile to read later and then forget about them. However, having a sense of how your pension is performing can help you plan and give you a decent idea of what your lifestyle in retirement is likely to be. Most people in the survey checked their pension values anywhere between once a month to once a year which can give people a good overview. The development of pension dashboards will also make it easier to check in on how all your pensions are performing and aid engagement.

There are also those at the other end of the scale who check their pension every day. Such engagement is great unless it fuels anxiety about how short-term market movements are affecting your pension. In recent years, we’ve experienced a lot of market turmoil due to events such as the pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine and many people will have seen their fund values drop. The concern is that this can cause you to make knee-jerk reactions such as changing investment strategy that you later come to regret. During the course of a working life, your pension will go through several periods of market turbulence and you may see your fund value drop as a result. However, it’s important to remember that markets do recover over time and so should your pension fund value.”

 

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