• February is typically the busiest month for pension searches, but October 2022 was the highest month on record over the past four years– likely driven by mini-Budget fallout and the ABI/PLSA ‘Pay Your Pension Some Attention’ campaign
  • There was a 40% year-on-year increase in ‘state pension’ searches in 2022, with the highest volume of searches to date recorded in December

See the  Standard Life Search Radar, February 2023 for more details.

The number of times the word ‘pensions’ was searched for online increased dramatically last year, with searches up 16%, according to analysis from Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group. There were 654,000 searches for pensions in 2022, compared to 562,000 searches in 2021.

February is typically the busiest month of the year for pension searches with 60,500 searches recorded in both 2021 and 2020. However, last year bucked the trend and pension searches peaked in October last year, with approximately 74,000 searches, the highest month on record over the past four years in terms of search volume. This was most likely driven by the fallout from the mini-Budget in late September, as well as the impact of the ‘Pay Your Pension Some Attention’ campaign, a co-ordinated industry initiative led by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA).

The interest in pensions continued across Q4 2022, making it the highest quarter on record over the past four years with 195,000 searches in total, a 58% increase from Q4 2021, when 123,100 searches were conducted.

‘State pension’ searches also soar

Standard Life’s analysis also found that December 2022 saw the greatest number of searches of the term ‘state pension’ ever recorded, with 201,000 searches carried out. This represents a 49% increase from the previous month when 135,000 searches were conducted, and a 232% increase from the previous year.

There was a 40% increase in ‘state pension’ searches throughout the whole of 2022, with 1,390,000 searches compared to 993,000 in 2021. It’s probable that the volumes were driven by uncertainty surrounding the future of the state pension triple lock which was an ongoing source of speculation in 2022 against the backdrop of high inflation. The December peak followed the confirmation that the triple lock would be retained in November’s Budget.

Jenny Holt, Managing Director Customer Savings and Investments at Standard Life, said: "Our analysis shows there’s been a 16% increase in online searches for pensions over the last year, with people looking for information about their finances during a turbulent economic environment. The 74,000 searches recorded during October’s spike were likely compounded by the mini-Budget, the impact of which drove national attention to defined benefit pensions in particular. The late surge of state pension searches may have been boosted by the Chancellor’s confirmation that the triple lock will produce the largest ever increase to state pensions this April.

"In recent years February has been the busiest month for pension searches and it will be interesting to see whether this proves to be the case this year. With tax year end approaching, many people chose February as a time to consider their savings and make use of their allowances ahead of the April deadline. We anticipate 2023 is likely to put pensions in the spotlight once again, as people look to make the most of their savings in a challenging climate."





Sarah Muir
07870 397537

James Merrick
Standard Life
07713 918949

Notes to editors:

About Standard Life

  • Standard Life is a brand that has been trusted to look after peoples' life savings for nearly 200 years
  • Today it proudly serves millions of customers who come to Standard Life directly, through advisers and through their employers' pension scheme.
  • Standard Life is part of Phoenix Group, the largest long-term savings and retirement business in the UK. We're proud to be building on nearly 200 years of Standard Life heritage together
  • Our products include a variety of Pensions, Bonds and Retirement options to suit people's needs, helping our customers to invest and save for their future. We're proud to offer a leading range of sustainable and responsible investment options.
  • We support our customers on their journey to and through retirement with comprehensive, easy-to-understand guidance so they can invest in the right way for their needs, and plan a future they feel confident about
  • The value of investments can go down as well as up and may be worth less than originally invested.

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