Despite the recent strikes against cuts in public sector pensions, Aviva reports that most British people have a head-in-the-sand attitude to pensions. Aviva said that few people start “actively thinking” about pensions until they are 48 years old, and take another four years before they do anything about it.

Behind the failure to start preparing for a pension income is lack of money, which was cited by 47% of people surveyed and existing family commitments (cited by 19%). As a result, more of today’s over-55s will have to work for longer. The Aviva research found that 26% said they would keep working if they could find a job when they are 65, 18% would stay on at work if their employer offered part-time opportunities, while 13% would carry on full-time in the same job if asked.

However Aviva also acknowledged in the report that one of the chief barriers to planning for retirement is that most people remain confused by pensions information and the variety of pension arrangements and schemes.

An Aviva researcher, psychologist Dr David Lewis, looked into the reasons why people fail to save. He found that one of the main obstacles to financial planning is the ‘My Eyes Glaze Over’ or ‘MYEGO’ factor. He stated that people finding figures tricky to understand, or even to think about, put their pension plans on a mental back-burner until in the mood to deal with them. He added, ‘’sadly, they never feel in the mood, so nothing gets done.’’

If you want to find out more or need advice about pensions and savings, contact Matthew Walne who will be happy to help.