International Literacy Day
In 1950 global literacy was 55.7%, in 2015 it was recorded as 86.3%. In fact, it is estimated that literacy is improving by 5% each decade. This is certainly worth celebrating but there is work still to be done. As in pension, there is a gender gap, with more men than women being literate.
In the UK, literacy has been stable at 99% since 2008 but this is by UNESCO standards. The National Literacy Trust estimates that 15% of the population wouldn’t pass GCSE English and have a reading/writing age of below an 11-year-old. This issue is dwarfed by the low level of Financial Literacy amongst the population and this is a problem that cannot be fixed overnight.
In the meantime, solutions are being introduced to combat the risk of the lack of financial skills in the population. The one-page ‘wake-up’ packs and one-page pension statements could help bridge the gaps in financial literacy. Independent and impartial guidance can also help people see through the incomprehensible “vocabulary” of pensions jargon, complex “storyline” (aka regulations) and the small print of scheme rules.
We offer guidance through our multi-channel helpline on 0800 011 3797, webchat and online enquiries. We also have a suite of pension spotlights that shine a light on pension issues and give information in a way that most people can understand and can be accessed on our spotlight page. If you want to better understand your pension storyline, talk to TPAS.