"Too many women and men still feel anxious and overwhelmed when it comes to the choices around how to access their retirement income."
Almost a quarter of women reported feeling anxious when faced with the choices of how to take their pension, according to new research by Fidelity International.
Fidelity research found that when asked how they felt about the options in retirement, 23% of women felt anxious about making the wrong decision. A further 13% reported feeling overwhelmed and 15% said they felt confused.
Knowing where to get information on the options available is a significant hurdle for many, with one in eight (12%) women revealing they were unsure where to access advice.
Access to advice has been highlighted as an industry issue, with research by the FCA finding that nearly half of all pension pots were accessed without individuals taking any regulated advice in 2018/19.
Maike Currie, investment director for Fidelity International, commented: “Pension freedoms revolutionised the way savers with Defined Contribution pensions access their pension pots, but clearly there is still a job to do here. Too many women and men still feel anxious and overwhelmed when it comes to the choices around how to access their retirement income.
“This research and sentiment were supported by the take-outs captured at Fidelity International’s third Women & Money Innovation Lab where a working group of policymakers and industry veterans and others came together to discuss pension freedoms and what changes could be made to improve engagement with pensions.
“A key takeaway was that pension freedoms are not really a freedom unless the individual feels well enough informed to make their decision.
“In order to bring about a better pensions outlook for all, we need to ensure that advice is accessible before the point where pensions are being drawn down. Likewise, more provision needs to be made for advice at the point where women are still accumulating their retirement savings.