Pension confusion rife,Ulster research says

October 20, 2000

Many Northern Ireland workers are in for a nasty shock when they retire, according to research from Ulster University.

Eileen Evason, professor of social policy, has discovered widespread confusion about pension arrangements - of 2,200 people surveyed, 77 per cent mistakenly believed that all retirees get the basic state pension.

Professor Evason analysed figures from the annual Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey, a joint project by UU and Queen's University, Belfast.

The survey shows that only 13 per cent of people under retirement age have given much thought to their finances when they retire. Fewer than half of the self-employed have personal pensions, and those who do tend to contribute very little. Two-thirds of those surveyed believed that adequate state benefits would be available if needed. "But as the basic pension continues to decline and the cuts in Serps (state earnings-related pension scheme) take effect from this year, this optimism may prove to be unfounded for many," Professor Evason said.

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