Over three quarters of people have no intention of using the governments retirement guidance service Pension Wise, and this could prove disastrous if people make decisions without guidance, according to a survey.
The survey of 501 people aged over 55, conducted by Portal Financial, reported 77% of people had no intention of using the service.
The firm believed lack of awareness was a factor, with only 3% of respondents knowing it was called Pension Wise.
Nearly 43% thought the service was called The Pensions Advisory Service, which is a voluntary organisation that provides information about pensions, while 14% did not know about the service. A third (32%) of respondents were aware of the service but did not know its name.
Jamie Smith-Thompson, managing director at Portal Financial, said: "Our results indicate that the government has not done enough to explain the presence or benefits of Pension Wise. A guidance guarantee was announced almost a year ago, and the Pension Wise website is now live, yet 43% of our respondents think The Pensions Advisory Service is the name of the service rather than an existing organisation that will help in providing the guidance."
The firm said there were similarities of results based on income, with the exception of high earners - the results showed that none of those earning £200,000 or more intended to use the service.
Of the rest of the respondents over a fifth (21%) of people with annual earnings under £20,000 said they would use the service. Of those earning between £20,000 and £40,000, 19% said they would use the service. A quarter of respondents with earnings between £40,000 and £70,000 said "yes". Over a third (39%) of those earning between £70,000 and £99,999 said they would use the service, while a quarter (25%) of people earning between £100,000 and £149,999 said "yes".
Smith-Thompson added: "Although guidance is not a substitute for regulated advice, we urge the government to increase awareness of Pension Wise so people approaching retirement at least know the option is there. With the pension freedoms now imminent, it could prove disastrous if people make decisions without being aware of the range of options available."
Guidance is currently available via the Pension Wise website. Guidance via face-to-face meetings or the telephone is not yet available.