Almost half of UK people have no idea how changes to the state pension will affect them, a Department for Work and Pensions poll has revealed.
A survey of more than 2,200 adults aged 22-plus (of which 1,443 were yet to retire) was carried out on behalf of the DWP to explore the public's awareness and understanding of the current and incoming state pension system.
From April 2016, a flat-rate state pension will come in, but 44% of those polled admitted that they were unaware how the changes would impact them, while just 22% were aware.
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said: 'The new state pension is one of this government's boldest reforms; it will give people clarity over their retirement income, significantly reduce the means testing of pensioners and put right inequalities affecting women, low earners and the self-employed.'
Pensions minister Steve Webb added that the reform was 'a real game changer'.
He said: 'Arriving in April 2016, the new state pension will help create a simplicity that hasn't existed in decades. It will give workers the knowledge that there is a strong foundation upon which they can build their savings.'
A further 42% of non-retired people admitted that they still needed to find out more about saving for retirement, while 38% said they 'try to avoid thinking about' what will happen when they stop working.
And only 60% of all adults polled knew it was possible to take action to increase their State Pension.
The reforms will tackle 'inequalities of the past', the DWP said, noting that women, carers, low earners and the self-employed would benefit most from the changes, making it easier for them to plan for later life.
DWPs analysis suggests that in the first ten years that around 650,000 women are expected to benefit from the transition valuation, receiving on average £8 a week more in state pension.
Under the new system, pensioners would in time receive around £150 a week or over if they have 35 years of full-rate National Insurance contributions, but those soon to retire will need to check what it means for them, with traditional arrangements in place as the system switchover.
This survey coincides with the launch of a new multi-channel campaign, called 'Your Pension, Your Future', and is designed to explain the reforms and how people can get the most out of it.
Yesterday, the department launched a radio ‘soapbox’ tour to publicise the wider pension reforms that are due to come in next April.