Delaying a Savings Decision is the Nation’s Biggest Pension Regret

Putting off pension savings is the biggest regret among the working and retired population, a new poll has found.

More than half (51 per cent) of working people and 38 per cent of pensioners said that they wished they had started saving for their pension earlier.

According to pension provider Aegon – which commissioned the survey – other pension regrets included not making a financial plan, and not joining a workplace pension scheme.

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Among the retired population, 14 per cent said that they regret the way that they used their pension pot, with pensioners saying that they either withdrew tax-free cash when they didn’t need it, took too much income too soon from their drawdown policy, or failed to buy an inflation-linked annuity.

“There’s a saying – smart people learn from their mistakes, wise people learn from the mistakes of others,” said Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon.

“When it comes to saving for retirement, it’s easy to fall into bad habits or make decisions you’ll later regret. But taking personal responsibility and making better financial decisions now will make all the difference to your future.“

When asked about their best pension decision, 42 per cent of working and retired people cited the decision to join their workplace pension scheme.

Almost one fifth (19 per cent) of those surveyed said that their best decision was to save for retirement from an early age, while 18 per cent said that their best decision was to pay extra into their workplace pension.

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“With the state pension unlikely to provide an adequate income for most, saving into your workplace or personal pension is not something you can afford to delay,” added Cameron.

“For many of us, it’s the most important saving pot we’ll ever have, so you want to give yourself the best chance of building it up over as a long a period as possible.

“By starting to save for retirement as early as possible, with time on your side, you have a better chance to avoid future regrets.”

 

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Last updated: March 8th, 2018

Kathryn Gaw

Kathryn Gaw is a financial journalist based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has been writing about personal finance and investment trends for more than a decade, and her work has been featured in the Financial Times, City A.M., the Press Association, and The Irish Independent, among many other publications.

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