After a recent survey found that less than a third is prepared for retirement, Safe Home Income Plans (SHIP) urged the government and employers to do more to create awareness.
The survey of 1,300 consumers found that only 29 percent of the respondents were ready to face the financial needs of retirement, though majority took the responsibility for the same.
22 percent said they felt overwhelmed while 26 percent were confused, and more than a third – 34 percent, said making financial decision caused anxiety. The survey further found that 30 percent did not have enough understanding of the equity release process while 29 percent wished to leave their home as an inheritance.
The report was released at an afternoon tea-party at the House of Lords hosted by the Baroness Hollis of Heigham.
“While it is good news that consumers are stepping up to the challenge of preparing for their own retirement, others look to bodies such as the government and employers to take the responsibility”, said Andrea Rozario, director general of SHIP.
“One of the major stumbling blocks appears to be the fact that making major financial decisions causes worry, anxiety and confusion. Indeed, almost half of consumers do not know whether they will use equity release to help finance their retirement – citing misconceptions and inaccuracies as barriers”, he added.
Commenting on the abysmally low percentage of retirement preparation, he said: “With just 13 per cent of consumers saying they have a plan for their retirement finances, which they stick to, it is clear there is a need to provide people with education and support so they are able to make informed decisions about their future”.
The report should be an eye-opener, said Carl Melvin, managing director of Affluent Financial Planning. “The responsibility ultimately lies with the individual. People have to take responsibility for their own future. However, the government has an obligation to tell people it is down to them. There does need to be provision for people who cannot afford to save”, he observed.