Workplace pension schemes may not be doing enough to fix ‘pension blind spots’ as many workers remain unaware of the benefits available to them, the Money and Pensions Service (MAPS) has found.
The government department's survey of more than 2,000 non-retired adults found a number of ‘blind spots' people have about the impact of life events on their pension, including rules surrounding self-employment, parental leave, and ill-health.
The survey revealed almost two thirds (63%) of workers do not know that the self-employed can benefit from tax relief on their pension savings.
Additionally, more than half (57%) of those surveyed are unaware they can access their pension early in the case of severe ill-health, while 56% do not know they can contribute to a pension while on parental leave.
Positively, knowledge of auto-enrolment (AE) is higher as 65% of those surveyed said they know AE does not guarantee that they are saving enough for retirement.
Acting chief executive Caroline Siarkiewicz said: "It's clear that many people are unaware of their options when it comes to important events in their lives that can impact their pensions.
"Women in particular have many important financial decisions to make when transitioning into parenthood but our findings suggest they are less likely to be aware of their pension options."
The People's Pension director of policy Gregg McClymont added: "Raising awareness of the impact key life events can have on people's savings is vital. In particular, at a time when the average female pensioner is £7,000 a year worse off than her male counterpart, we must do all we can do reduce the gender pensions gap, and ensuring women know they can top up a pension during parental leave is part of that."
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