Perceptions and use of pension savings: the case of South Asian consumers living in the UK

Authors: Robson, J. and Ashraf, S.

Conference: Academy of Marketing

Dates: 5 July-7 October 2016


This research was in response to new pensions regulations introduced from April 6th 2015 whereby UK consumers aged 55 and over have complete freedom to use their pension savings as they wish. In the media there was much speculation on how this money would be used. The study drew on behavioural economics (specifically framing and mental accounting) to understand how consumers perceive and thereby intend to use different sources of money.

The study took as its focus one ethnic group, South Asians (i.e. those with cultural origins from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka) living in the UK, to identify how consumers within this segment perceive their own pension savings. This is an important group as first generation South Asians living in the UK are now entering the retirement stage and therefore the question of how they will use their pension savings is pertinent.

The objectives of this study were to identify: a) how consumers perceive their pension savings as a money source b) what informed their perception in (a) above c) how consumers intend to use this money d) the impact culture has on their perceptions and decisions. Data was collected via interviews using talk and draw method whereby interviewees are asked to draw a picture entitled ‘How I see my pension fund’. They then talk through their drawing to explain the content and meaning in an interview. Recruitment of interviewees was planned via personal contacts and local community groups belonging, or linked to, South Asia. As a guide, a maximum of 25 interviews were planned or until the saturation point had been reached.

Source: Manual