Millions 'lurching like zombies' towards retirement

Do you know where you stand?

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senior man being puzzled with...

Britain's over-50s are sleep-walking into retirement, with fewer than four in ten aware of the state pension they'll receive.

Even though the state pension will form the main source of income for most, fewer than six in ten have requested a pension forecast. Only 58% say they've written a will, and just one-third say they're properly prepared for retirement.

One in ten say they're simply daunted by the prospect.

"In 2017 we find that there is a perilously low level of understanding and financial activity in preparing for retirement. We don't want people to lurch, like zombies, towards their retirement," says Andrew Tully, pensions technical director at Retirement Advantage, which carried out the research.

"Some of this comes down to real fundamentals such as: 'Do I have a will in place?' or 'Just how much is my state pension income going to be worth when I retire?' These are relatively easy things to do and find out, but it shows more simple help is needed."

According to Tully, it's particularly important to check your predicted state pension, as there could be a difference of more than £100,000 over the course of a 20-year retirement.

See also: Will your pension savings last as long as your retirement?

See also: Over 50s wish they hadn't retired so young

"Many of those we interviewed say they will need to supplement the income they receive from the state. This is unsurprising, but unless people have the numbers then they can't properly plan how any income from a workplace pensions fits, or work out if they might need to unlock some of the value in property to get the desired standard of living," says Tully.

"There is a real need for people to take time to sit down and consider their retirement plans. For those that are daunted or want an expert to help them, then a contacting a regulated financial adviser is a great place to start."

In fact, it's very easy to check your state pension: you can do it online here, where you'll also find instructions for checking by phone or post.

You'll need to have at least 35 qualifying years on your National Insurance record to get the full state pension of £159.55 per week. With 10 qualifying years, you'll get 10/35th of the total, which is £46.

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