Three quarters of UK adults have not actioned expression of wish for pension benefits

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Three quarters of UK adults have not actioned expression of wish for pension benefits

New insight from Canada Life reveals three quarters (72%) of UK adults say they have never completed an expression of wish form, which nominates beneficiaries in the event of the passing of the customer who has the pension benefits.

Among those aged 55 and over, 71% say they haven't completed one of these ‘pension wills'.

An up-to-date expression of wish form is held by the pension company, and in the event the customer dies, it will help distribute the pension quickly and efficiently taking into account your views.

Absence of an expression of wish form could result in delays to any beneficiaries receiving the pension, or worse still the potential for unintended beneficiaries receiving the pension. 

The results were based on a sample of 2,000 UK adults aged 18+, with fieldwork by Opinium between the 4th and 8th March 2022. Results were weighted to nationally representative criteria.

Andrew Tully, technical director, Canada Life, said: "A huge number of UK workers have been auto enrolled into pensions over the past few years so it's both surprising and concerning more people either haven't completed a pension will or perhaps can't remember.

"Having an up-to-date form lodged with your pension company makes sure the company knows who you would like to benefit should you die.

"The  expression of wish provides a valuable piece of evidence when the trustees are trying to establish the right beneficiaries to receive the money.

"It may seem something you can put off to another day, but the expression of wish form should only take a few minutes to complete. Ask your pension provider or HR department for a copy to complete. If your circumstances change, you should always review and submit a new form if required."

Key points 

  • 72% of UK adults have never completed a ‘pension will' via an expression of wish form
  • 71% of the over 55s also say they have never completed a ‘pension will'
  • An expression of wish form nominates beneficiaries in the event of the passing of the pension customer