We are Googling the word “pension” a lot more – and it’s all George Osborne’s fault

Pensions are now more popular than ever, in part thanks to former chancellor George Osborne, according to research released today.

Google searches for the word “pension” have increased almost four times since September 2012, Hargreaves Lansdown reckons.

One of the strongest drivers of consumer interest in retirement products has been Osborne’s landmark pension freedoms policy – announced in March 2014 and introduced in April 2015.

There is also strong interest in January every year, driven by a combination of what Hargreaves Lansdown call “financial spring-cleaning” and the need to complete tax returns.

Read more: Official stats now support Britain’s annuity market is facing extinction

(Source: Hargreaves Lansdown)

Prior to Pension Awareness Day this Friday, Hargreaves Lansdown head of policy Tom McPhail warned of an “inherent conflict in UK pension policy”.

“We’ve been using auto-enrolment to bring millions of people into pensions by default,” he said.

“However having done that, it is now essential to help investors engage with their retirement savings and to make good decisions about how to make the most of the money they’re putting aside for retirement. The more engaged people are and the more they understand pensions, the more likely they are to trust them and to make good long-term retirement decisions.”

He continued:

The good news is, if Google searches are anything to go by, people are getting progressively more interested in their pensions.

Read more: Here’s why the FCA could meddle with Osborne’s pension freedoms legacy

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