Press release

Publication of DWP research report 701: attitudes to pensions: the 2009 survey

Quantitative survey that explores people’s attitudes towards pensions and their expectations for retirement.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Research is published today by the Department for Work and Pensions which presents the findings from a quantitative survey that explores people’s attitudes towards pensions and their expectations for retirement, as well as examining views on associated topics such as saving, risk and financial decision-making.

This survey updates and expands on the first ‘Attitudes to Pensions’ survey that was carried out in 2006, and the findings make an important contribution to a wider body of evidence on public attitudes to savings for retirement and to pension reform.

The findings of the report confirm our understanding of people’s low level of pensions knowledge and awareness, but findings of particular note are:

  • Conflicting views in relation to early access to pension savings - One third of respondents without current private pension provision agreed that they would be likely to start saving into a pension if they could access savings before retirement. One quarter of those with current pension provision agreed that they would be more likely to save more into a pension if the savings were accessible. However, 79% believe the idea pension savings cannot be accessed until retirement makes pensions a good way of saving for retirement.
  • Importance of the State Pension - The State Pension was identified by the largest proportion of respondents (55%) as being their first or second likely main source of retirement income.
  • Interest in working beyond State Pension Age - Two fifths of those aged 50 years or over indicate that they would like to continue working in the same job after 65. Nearly nine tenths of respondents yet to retire would consider working after State Pension Age if this meant a better standard of living.
  • Possible unreliable expectations for retirement income - Despite the majority of respondents yet to retire having no or only a basic idea about their likely retirement income, 78% expect to have enough retirement income to cover basic costs, although just 34% expect to have enough to ‘live comfortably’.

Notes to Editors:

  1. The research report ‘Attitudes to Pensions: the 2009 survey’ is published on Thursday 28 July 2010 and is based on a survey carried out by NatCen, the National Centre for Social Research. The report is available on the DWP website:
  2. The survey was conducted among a representative sample of 1,654 adults in Great Britain aged 18-69.
  3. The survey was conducted by interviewers using face-to-face computer assisted interviewing (CAPI) with a median interview length of 45 minutes.
  4. Fieldwork for the survey was conducted between mid-September and the end of November 2009
Published 28 October 2010