Almost half (47%) of consumers say that they are now less likely to ignore pension planning following recent coverage of the pensions crisis, says Friends Provident.

The life and pensions company is speaking out over the results of its recently commissioned consumer research, which shows that with one month to go until A-Day:

– Over a third (35%) of consumers are now more likely to review their pension arrangements

– A quarter (25%) of consumers have a clear understanding of what is happening and what they must do as a result

– More than two-fifths (43%) rate their current understanding of pensions as good or excellent

– Only 20% of consumers are totally confused about pensions.

While consumers appear to be grasping the concept of the pensions crisis and its significance, the research, conducted by 72 point, shows that most are not aware of the significance of A-Day. Almost half do not know what A-Day is (43%) or confuse it with something else, such as Armistice Day (12%).

However, more than a third (35%) are aware that the date for A-Day is April 6.

Even though one of the key changes will potentially allow consumers to save more into their pensions, almost two-fifths (39%) say it is unlikely that they will be topping up or increasing their pension contributions as a result. A further 16% are adamant that they won’t, while only 2% say that they will definitely consider taking advantage of the change.

Jeremy Ward, head of pensions marketing at Friends Provident, said:

Consumers are beginning to sit up and take note about pensions. Coverage of the crisis has put pensions on their radars, but the key issue is how that translates to positive action following A-Day.

A-Day could be the kick start needed to get people saving enough for a comfortable retirement.

For some consumers, however, there is already a sense of ‘pensions overkill’. With A-Day following hot on the heels of Turner and widespread coverage of the pensions crisis, 15% say that they cannot be bothered with pensions and are completely bored reading or seeing things about them.

More worryingly for the industry, a third (33%) say that they are now more likely to choose an alternative to a pension as a way of saving for retirement.