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Women are “less likely to know they can top up pension on parental leave”

More than half of UK adults don’t know they can contribute to their pension while on parental leave, according to the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS).

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56 percent don’t know they can contribute to a pension while on parental leave
56 percent don’t know they can contribute to a pension while on parental leave

More than 2,000 non-retired UK adults were surveyed in September for MaPS research, which found:

  • 57 percent don’t know they can access their pension early due to severe ill-health;
  • 56 percent don’t know they can contribute to a pension while on parental leave;
  • Almost two thirds don’t know the self-employed can benefit from tax relief on pension savings.

MaPS said the findings reveal the “key blind spots when it comes to pensions knowledge” - including that it is women who are less likely to know they can keep topping up their pension while on parental leave (61 percent), compared to men (51 percent).

 

The organisation said “the picture is more positive when it comes to knowledge of automatic enrolment and pensions”:

  • 78 percent know that they can start saving into a pension as soon as they have started working, whatever their age;
  • 65 percent know that automatic enrolment doesn’t guarantee that you’re saving enough for retirement.

Caroline Siarkiewicz, acting chief executive, at MaPS 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, such as becoming a parent or starting their own business. 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.

 

“It is positive to see that people have an understanding of how automatic enrolment works. However, our findings suggest that many might be missing out on important information when making decisions affecting their pensions. You can speak to a pensions specialist for free, confidential help by contacting The Pensions Advisory Service helpline or web chat.”

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