Over 80% of voters wish to see a pension and savings review from the incoming government

Ffion White

by , PR Manager

17 June 2024 /  

17
June 2024

Older couple using a laptop and credit card

A recent survey by PensionBee highlights a strong desire (87%) among consumers for the incoming government to conduct a comprehensive review of the pensions and retirement savings system, as promised in Labour’s manifesto.

Support for this policy was particularly strong (92%), by those aged 35 to 44, a group that’s consistently demonstrated low pension confidence, according to PensionBee’s Retirement Confidence Index over the past 6 months.1

Lifetime Allowance and the Triple Lock

Maintaining the abolition of the Lifetime Allowance, a recent reversal in Labour’s plans was favoured by 61% of respondents. Over a third (37%) of respondents believed it encourages saving for the future, while almost a quarter (24%) noted that any changes would directly impact their retirement planning.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives’ ‘Triple Lock Plus’ policy, resonated with older voters, as almost two-thirds (65%) of over 55s were aware of this policy and broadly understood its aims. Less than 10% of over 55s were unaware of the policy, the lowest rate among all age groups.

Taxes and social care

A significant proportion (60%) of respondents indicated they would likely vote for a party pledging to scrap inheritance tax. Previous research from PensionBee found that while 30% of over 55s would like to see the tax abolished completely, only 15% of young savers (age 18-34) shared this sentiment, instead favouring a more means-tested approach.2

Prioritising the NHS and social care funding was highlighted as another priority, with almost 70% of respondents stating they were likely to vote for a party that committed to increased spending in this area, even at the expense of higher taxes.

Sustainable investing and looking to the future

Meanwhile, the Green Party’s pledge for pension funds to divest from fossil fuel assets by 2030 indicated a clear contrast from the preference of customers in PensionBee’s default plan. Almost two thirds (65%) of customers in the Tailored plan favoured continued investment in fossil fuels, citing profitability and the potential to drive change through AGM votes as reasons not to divest.

When asked about their feelings towards the future, overall respondents felt optimistic about a change of government (55%), while more people (23%) felt unsure rather than pessimistic (21%) about the change. Younger savers were the most optimistic (68%) about a new government, whereas those aged 65+ were the least (40%) likely to express this sentiment.

Becky O’Connor, Director of Public Affairs at PensionBee, commented: “Pensions often face policy changes due to the costs involved for the Treasury in offering tax relief and the State Pension, but also because votes can be won or lost through adjustments to people’s retirement prospects.

Our survey clearly shows that voters are eager for meaningful reforms in some areas of the pension system and continuity in others, reflecting a broader need for financial security.

The ability for working people to build a decent pension is a key pillar of a well-functioning society and the incoming government has a significant opportunity to implement policies that foster confidence and trust among savers, ensuring a financially secure future for all.”

Appendix

Table 1: Should the new government conduct a pension and retirement savings review to improve the current UK pension system? You can select multiple answers.

Response Percentage of respondents
Yes, I think a better provision of pension education is required 42%
Yes, I think the pension system is too complicated 37%
Yes, I think more should be done to ensure retirees have adequate savings 33%
Yes, I think it needs to be easier to transfer and consolidate old pensions 22%
I’m not sure / I don’t know 6%
No, I think the current system is fit for purpose 5%
No, I think other issues are more pressing 4%

Source: PensionBee, June 2024. A nationally representative sample of 1,000 UK adults, aged 18 to 80. Numbers have been rounded.

Table 2: How important is it to you that the next government maintains the abolition of the Lifetime Allowance?

Response Percentage of respondents
Somewhat important because it encourages saving for the future 37%
Not important, as it doesn’t affect me personally 30%
Very important, as it directly impacts my retirement planning 24%
I’m not sure / I don’t know 9%

Source: PensionBee, June 2024. A nationally representative sample of 1,000 UK adults, aged 18 to 80. Numbers have been rounded.

Table 3: Have you heard of the ‘Triple Lock Plus’ policy?

Response Percentage of respondents
Yes, I’ve heard of it and broadly understand its aims 65%
Yes, I’ve heard of it but I don’t understand what it is 26%
No, I don’t think I’ve heard of it before 5%
No, I definitely haven’t heard of this 4%

Source: PensionBee, June 2024. A nationally representative sample of 309 UK adults, aged 55 to 80. Numbers have been rounded.

Table 4: Would you be likely to vote for a party in the upcoming election that pledges to scrap inheritance tax?

Response Percentage of respondents
Yes, I would be likely to vote for a party that pledges to scrap inheritance tax 60%
I’m not sure / I don’t know 22%
No, I wouldn’t be likely to vote for a party that pledges to scrap inheritance tax 17%

Source: PensionBee, June 2024. A nationally representative sample of 1,000 UK adults, aged 18 to 80. Numbers have been rounded.

Table 5: Would you be likely to vote for a party in the upcoming election that pledges to spend more on the NHS and funding social care, even if it meant higher taxation? You can select multiple answers.

Response Percentage of respondents
Yes, I believe investing in the NHS and social care is crucial 54%
Yes, I may need care now / in the future 24%
No, higher taxes would be too much of a financial burden on me 17%
No, I don’t support higher taxes under any circumstances 9%
I’m not sure / I don’t know 6%
No, I think government expenditure should be focused elsewhere 5%

Source: PensionBee, June 2024. A nationally representative sample of 1,000 UK adults, aged 18 to 80. Numbers have been rounded.

Table 6: Should your pension continue to invest in fossil fuel companies? Pick which one most closely aligns with your views.

Response Percentage of respondents
Yes, if they make good profits then leave this topic to the government and regulators 45%
No, remove all fossil fuel companies for the sake of the environment 21%
Yes, but only to be able to vote at their AGMs and drive positive change more quickly 20%
I don’t know 8%
No, I don’t believe in their future profit capabilities 5%
I have another view 2%

Source: PensionBee, February 2024. A sample of 1,174 PensionBee customers from the Tailored Plan. Numbers have been rounded.

Table 7: Do you feel a change in government will bring you more optimism for the future?

Response Percentage of respondents
Somewhat agree 31%
Strongly agree 24%
I’m not sure / I don’t know 23%
Somewhat disagree 12%
Strongly disagree 9%

Source: PensionBee, June 2024. A nationally representative sample of 1,000 UK adults, aged 18 to 80. Numbers have been rounded.

Footnotes

  1. Pension Retirement Confidence Index, PensionBee.
  2. Nearly 2/3rd of Brits are unaware that pensions are usually exempt from inheritance tax, PensionBee.

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