Nearly three in 10 pension savers have no idea what they will do with their retirement pots, a survey by YouGov has found.

Research commissioned by the People's Pension discovered that around 28 per cent of workers do not know what to do with the savings they have built up for their retirement.

The workplace pension scheme also revealed more than a fifth (22%) of pension savers aged 55 or over do not know when they will retire and more than a third (35%) across all age groups are unsure when they will stop working.

Three quarters (75%) would consider taking guidance about how to make their savings last throughout retirement from a pension provider with a legal duty to put their interests first, according to the survey of more than 2,100 adults across the UK in February.

More than a fifth of pension savers aged 55 or over do not know when they will retire

The survey presented people with options for using their pension savings during retirement.

Nearly four in 10 (37%) of those who are saving for retirement would be prepared to be guided towards taking a pension that was split between giving them a guaranteed regular income (an annuity) and the rest as a flexible income pot (drawdown) after taking a tax-free lump sum up-front.

A further 35 per cent chose a guaranteed regular income only option after taking the tax-free lump sum. 

Phil Brown, director of policy and external affairs at B&CE, the provider of the People's Pension, said: "This latest research provides further evidence that pension savers are crying out for guidance about how they should approach retirement."

Over-50s can get free guidance from the Government-backed Pension Wise service to help them understand their options, more details can be found on the website here.

In October 2020, the UK Government raised the State Pension age to 66 for both men and women with plans to increase this to 68 over the coming years.

But, how many years of NI contributions do you need to make in order to qualify for the full, ‘new’ State Pension?

You will need at least 10 qualifying years on your NI record to get any State Pension and they don’t have to be 10 qualifying years in a row.

This means for 10 years at least one or more of the following applied to you:

If you have lived or worked abroad you might still be able to get some new State Pension.

You might also qualify if you have paid married women’s or widow’s reduced rate contributions - find out more about this on the GOV.UK website here.

You will need 35 qualifying years to receive the new full State Pension if you do not have a NI record before 6 April 2016.

For people who have contributed between 10 and 35 years, they are entitled to a portion of the new State Pension.

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Qualifying years if you are working

When you’re working you pay NI and get a qualifying year if:

You might not pay NI contributions because you’re earning less than £183 a week. You may still get a qualifying year if you earn between £120 and £183 a week from one employer.

Qualifying years if you are not working

You may get NI credits if you cannot work - for example because of illness or disability, or if you’re a carer or you’re unemployed.

You can get NI credits if you:

If you are not working or getting NI credits

You might be able to pay voluntary NI contributions if you’re not in one of these groups but want to increase your State Pension amount. Find out more on the GOV.UK website here.

What if there are gaps in your NI record?

You can have gaps in your NI record and still get the full new State Pension.

You can get a State Pension statement which will tell you how much State Pension you may get. You can then apply for a NI statement from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to check if your record has gaps.

If you have gaps in your NI record that would prevent you from getting the full new State Pension, you may be able to:

Check your National Insurance record here.

Check your State Pension age

Check your State Pension age using the free Gov.uk online tool here.

This will tell you: