Only eight per cent of those aged 39 to 54 have seen an IFA in the past year, new research shows.

A nationwide ‘Generation X Retirement Prospects’ study commissioned by financial technology company Dunstan Thomas looked at the saving behaviour of 2,011 individuals.

The study found 63 per cent of those still in defined benefit policies are considering whole or partial DB to defined contribution pensions transfers in order to access some of their savings from age of 55.

Thirteen per cent plan to use their pension in the next five years to purchase a guaranteed income and 7 per cent plan to access their pension flexibly within the next five years, probably going into income drawdown initially.

Three per cent want to cash out completely within five years and 11 per cent are not making any decisions about what to do with the savings until they are nearer retirement.

The study also reveals 54 per cent have no plans to touch the pension for the next five years, while 12 per cent are unsure what they will opt for.

According to the research, the average pension savings of UK Gen Xers aged 39-54 is £159,837, putting in just over £200 per month.

When broken down by gender the average pension savings pot is worth £186,611 for Gen X men, while their female counterparts have £117,854 in pension savings.

The average Gen X man pays £253 each month into their pension; while the average woman aged 39-54 puts aside only half as much for retirement – just £139 per month.

Age also splits pensions wealth, with DB pension provision highest in the oldest tranche of Gen Xers, where 32 per cent aged 51-54 have money in a DB scheme, compared to only 23 per cent of those aged 39-47.

Auto-enrolment coverage is highest for younger Gen Xers aged 39-47, 32 per cent of whom have AE pensions, whereas just 22 per cent of 48-54 year olds are auto-enrolled.

On the subject of “pension freedoms” 48 per cent of female and 34 per cent of male Gen Xers had never heard of the reforms before responding to Dunstan Thomas’ survey.

A further 30 per cent had heard of them but knew nothing about them.

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