rime artist and TV cook Big Zuu is at the forefront of a new pensions industry campaign encouraging people to pay attention to their later life savings.
Eight in 10 employees in the UK have a workplace pension, yet many say they do not know how to find information about these savings, those behind the initiative said.
The Pension Attention campaign (Pensionattention.co.uk) urges people to ensure they know where their money for their future is, and helps them understand how they can keep track of it.
Big Zuu, campaign ambassador, said: “Grime and pensions have never been mentioned in the same sentence before, I’ll tell you that for free. It sounds heavy but this matters to everyone – it’s time to pay your pension some attention.
“I have mates who are putting off thinking about the future, it’s hard with everything going on right now. But a bit of time spent on understanding pensions will help a lot in the future.
“Don’t pressure yourself into thinking you have to pay more money in, it’s not about that. It’s a case of finding where your pensions are so that you have a clue about your future savings. People won’t even know they have money sat there for their future from an old job.
“If you get the right information and make the right steps, understanding your pension is really simple and it benefits you at the end of the day. It’s your money to take care of yourself in the future – that deserves some attention.”
The Pension Attention campaign is co-ordinated by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA), and funded by a large proportion of the pensions industry. It is working in partnership with Pensions Awareness Week and National Pension Tracing Day.
Campaigns manager for the Pension Attention campaign, Sarah Cordey, said: “It’s really exciting to have Big Zuu shouting about how important it is to pay your pension some attention. Paying for our lives when we’re older is an issue which matters to everyone, but we know lots of people find pensions intimidating or think they’re not relevant to them.
“In the current climate, it’s more important than ever that we help people making difficult financial decisions do so from a position of knowledge and understanding. This campaign isn’t about increasing contributions, it’s about increasing savers’ awareness and making them feel good about their pension.
“We want people to feel empowered to track down their pensions and keep an eye on them, so they know how their money for their future is building up.”
Here are some tips from the campaign:
1. Make the connection.
Those jobs you had in the past – did you make pension payments? Check your payslips and look out for old pension statements to find out where your pots are.
2. Think about your future intentions.
Check out what could be coming your way when you stop working by using the pension calculator at pensionattention.co.uk
3. It is all right for you to ask questions.
There is plenty of clear information available via your employers, your pension providers or from the free and impartial service, moneyhelper.org.uk.
Caroline Siarkiewicz, chief executive of the Money and Pensions Service, said: “Retirement could last almost as long as your time spent working, so it’s really important we keep an eye out for our future selves and pay our pensions some attention.
“If you don’t feel confident about pensions, remember knowledge is power. Taking a few small steps, such as checking an online pension account, reading your pension statement or talking to your provider or a MoneyHelper pension specialist, can help you feel more reassured and in control.
“In fact, our research shows that over half of people who have paid their pension some attention like this feel roughly on track for a reasonable income in retirement (60%), compared to 29% of people who haven’t taken any action.
“Having a goal for the retirement you want can also inspire you to take action. Our figures show that three-quarters of pension action-takers (75%) had put a great deal of thought into their financial goals for the next five years, compared to 51% of those who had not taken any action.”
Yvonne Braun, director of policy, long-term savings and protection at the ABI, said: ”Now more than ever we need to help people engage with and understand their finances, and Big Zuu’s knack for cutting through the jargon will go a long way to help people think about their pension savings and consider their plans for their future.”
Nigel Peaple, director of policy and advocacy at the PLSA, said: “It’s more important than ever, as people face difficult financial choices, that they have confidence in their workplace pension and understand their savings.
“Pension Attention is about getting savers to connect – or reconnect – with their pension, to help them feel good about having one, and to show them how easy it is to keep track of it.”