More and more UK adults are becoming aware of the tax benefits of saving into a pension, according to research published by Standard Life yesterday.
Almost two-fifths (39%) of people surveyed on the insurer's behalf said they knew that for every £4 a basic rate taxpayer invests into a personal pension, the government automatically adds £1 by rebating the income tax on contributions. This compares to 29% of respondents in the same survey last year.
Awareness had increased particularly significantly among young adults, the survey found. One-in-five 18-24 year-olds surveyed said they knew about the tax benefits of pensions saving, compared to just 11% a year ago.
Those aged 45-54 years old had the highest awareness of the tax relief available on pensions contributions, with almost half (46%) knowing the government adds 'free' money to contributions.
The survey also highlighted a gender bias, with 48% of men saying they were aware of the incentives for investing in a pension, but 70% of women saying they were unaware.
Standard Life's Julie Russell said the overall jump on awareness was 'really positive news', but stressed that there was still more to do, in particular in raising women's knowledge of the tax benefits pensions saving can offer.
'The launch of automatic enrolment into company pension schemes could well have driven some of this increased awareness over the past year,' she noted.
'And with many more employees being automatically enrolled into a company pension in 2013, I expect awareness to continue to grow.
'But our research has also found that it is those who are investing actively in a personal pension who are more likely to be switched on to the tax efficiency of investing in a pension than those in a workplace scheme. Fifty seven per cent of people with a personal pension are aware, compared to 47% of those actively investing in a workplace pension.'