Search engine sees massive increase in ‘pensions freedoms’ search

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Over 2015 UK Google searches for the term ‘pensions freedoms’ (and three variants on this phrase) increased by a huge 913%, Jelf Employee Benefits has found.

The increase suggests that the pension freedoms have hit home with UK employees, and raised awareness of pensions in general.

The terms ‘pension’ and ‘pensions’ on their own saw searches increased by 50% in 2015 as compared to the previous year – however Jelf’s research also revealed increased searches for more specific terms.

The top ten pensions-related search terms, based on highest growth in search volumes, include ‘government pension(s) advice’, ‘which pension advice’ and ‘online pension advice’.

These searches suggest that employees are becoming increasingly aware of the need to look for education and advice around their pension – although the fact that they are turning to Google searches might also suggest a lack of information from their employers and providers.

Lee Coles, head of retirement services, Jelf Employee Benefits said: “We couldn’t be more pleased that the topic has caught the public’s imagination but of course, rather than simplifying retirement decisions, there are some complexities and longer-term consequences that need to be understood.

“Better workplace education can satisfy the paternalistic ambitions of employers, but can also be commercially beneficial. We could be talking about lower absence rates, a clearer succession plan for key roles or better business continuity. The increased awareness regarding pensions is a positive step, but the goal has to be better financial decision-making across workforces.”

In his latest blog for Reward, Jonathan Watts-Lay, WEALTH at work, discusses the danger of under-educated employees getting scammed. He comments: “Employees need to understand that taking regulated advice and getting the additional consumer protection it offers should not be underestimated”.

WEALTH at work is blogging about the key areas of employer consideration when helping their employees through retirement in Reward's financial education hub.

The hub examines the changes in pensions and looks at how you can help your employees with financial education across all their savings. CLICK HERE to access the hub

For further information about WEALTH at work, please CLICK HERE