Case studies

Read Adrians’s story

Case studies

Read Adrians’s story

What type of schooling did you have, state or private? And what did you learn, or remember, about pensions?

I attended a state school. We didn’t learn anything about pensions.

Do you think learning more about this in school would have been helpful / made you feel more prepared?

Absolutely, I think it would have helped to have learnt about pensions in school [and] all of those basic life skills that you need. It would have set me up for life instead of trying to learn about it during my adulthood.

Adrian is not alone. Research carried out for our Get Britain Pension Ready campaign showed that 84% of those who took part were not taught about pensions in school.

“I feel anxious about pension planning because not having learnt about it at school it’s quite daunting.”

In fact 22% of those surveyed for our Get Britain Pension Ready campaign said they felt anxious when thinking about planning for retirement, while 13% felt overwhelmed and 9% felt confused.

How do you feel about pension planning? Hopeful, anxious, positive, overwhelmed?

I feel anxious about pension planning because not having learnt about it at school it’s quite daunting. And it’s not a task that you really want to approach with any aplomb. I’ve just adopted the approach that I’ll try and save as much as possible and worry about it when I retire, which probably isn’t the best policy.

What I learnt about pensions I picked up myself just looking at government websites and listening to other people talk about it on the television. Basically, I’m just keeping my fingers crossed.

How confident are you about your understanding of pensions?

I’m not too confident. I rely on the statement I get from my pension company and if the figures look large enough then that keeps me quite happy. But generally, I just try and save as much as possible and hope that it’ll be what I need for a comfortable lifestyle when I retire.

What worries you most when thinking about pensions (and retirement)?

I think what worries me the most is whether I’m going to need healthcare when I’m older and can I afford it. That’s my main concern, having enough money when I retire to afford healthcare should the worst arise.

Can you explain when and how you started paying into a pension pot? What were your thoughts when you ticked ‘yes’ on the pension box at your first job? Was it on purpose, or you were just ‘lucky’?

I first started working full-time when I was 18. I signed my first job contract and there was a tick box asking me whether I would want to contribute to the company pension. The choice was ‘yes’ or ‘no’. It seemed like a good idea [but] I didn’t really know too much about it, so I just ticked the box that said yes. I remember vividly at the time thinking, I could really use that money elsewhere but saving for a pension seems like a good idea, so I ticked yes. So it was more by luck, I think, that I did actually start contribution to a pension at an early age.

You’ve heard of being able to shop around with your pension pot, but do you know what this means? What do you think that would look like? How would you know where to start (if at all)?

I have no idea really what shopping around for a pension really means until I do some proper research into it. I’d kind of put that off until I retire. I don’t know if that’s the right idea but that’s what I’m going to do. Which is why it would have been useful to learn about it at school.

Results from our Get Britain Pension Ready campaign research showed that of those surveyed who said they felt financially unprepared for retirement, 54% said they were worried about everything going up in price, 54% said they were worried they wouldn’t have enough money to see them through retirement and 37% said they were worried they would run out of money mid-retirement.