Research and analysis

A simpler state pension: a qualitative study to explore 1 option for reform (RR787)

Findings from qualitative research to explore perceptions of whether the proposed single tier system is simpler and fairer than the current system.

Documents

Summary of report

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Full report

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Detail

We commissioned TNS-BMRB and the Futures Company to undertake qualitative research to explore perceptions of a single tier state pension system.

The specific aims of the research were to explore:

  • whether the single-tier system was considered to be fairer and/or simpler than the current system and whether it offered certainty with regard to the amount of entitlement
  • how the single tier might impact people’s planning and saving for retirement
  • how reactions to the above might inform future communications

Fieldwork took place between January and October 2011 and was conducted in 4 stages.

This research is qualitative, but the findings complement other related research. For example, the 2012 Attitudes to Pensions survey, based on a sample of 1,949 adults in Great Britain, also showed that the current state pension system discourages saving and is too complicated. Findings from this show that 42% of respondents agree that income top-up discourages saving for retirement. Nearly two thirds (63%) of respondents felt that ‘sometimes pensions seems so complicated that I cannot really understand the best thing to do’.

The research informed policy development for the Single-Tier White Paper, published on 14 January 2013. The research also informed illustrations for the white paper, to make complex concepts more easily understandable.