Just 8% of people currently speak to an adviser about their financial decisions, despite many feeling unconfident about financial issues, research from provider Aegon has found.
According to the firm, the majority (47%) of people make financial decisions on their own, while 41% prefer to consult their partner. Aegon had surveyed about 1,000 people in October 2016.
Yet, a separate piece of research conducted in September 2015 and surveying 2,000 people, found confidence on financial matters to be low among the general population.
At the time about 14% said they were confident about planning retirement goals and investing themselves, while one in five said they were comfortable deciding how to access their pension independently.
Pension director Steven Cameron (pictured) said: "Greater personal responsibility for retirement planning combined with increased levels of economic and political uncertainty, as well as pension freedoms, mean people need professional financial advice more than ever.
"Our findings emphasise the scale of the task facing the Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR) in making advice and guidance more accessible. It's important the FAMR delivers on the recommendations made last year and opens up access to advice in its widest sense."
Cost of advice
More often than not people are put off seeking advice by the upfront cost involved. To alleviate this problem, and make advice more accessible for the masses, FAMR announced plans for a Pension Advice Allowance (PAA), whereby pre-retirees could access up to £500 of their pension pot in order to pay for advice.
Cameron agreed the allowance was a good starting point, however he added: "Many pension providers already allow customers to request that some of their current pension pot is paid to an adviser to cover the cost of advice on that pension."
According to Cameron, cost was not the only factor putting people off. "We must also recognise there are reasons beyond cost that people might not seek financial advice that also need to be addressed as an industry," he said.
In the meantime, Cameron said people should take advantage of existing free sources of guidance, such as Pension Wise, so they feel they have sufficient support in making financial decisions.
However, he urged people to still consider financial advice for important financial decisions. "For the more important or difficult decisions people should seriously consider paying for financial advice and in many cases, the benefits of getting things right can far outweigh the costs."
In particular, as far as pensions were concerened, there were seven instances when it was important savers sought financial advice, he said.
These were: When selecting a pension product; planning retirement goals and where to invest to meet them; deciding how to access a pension; consolidating pension pots; transferring pension providers; reviewing investment performance or changing funds; and inheritance tax planning.
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Reforms not enough
An economic cocktail
To encourage consumers to shop around
Will report to Pat Shea