Interactive Investor

Turkey sandwiches, Bridgerton and...starting a pension?

11th January 2021 13:11

Rebecca O'Connor from interactive investor


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Number of interactive investor SIPP accounts opened in the 12 days of Christmas up 100% on last year.

Picture credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix

It was a quieter Christmas than usual for millions – so quiet that many scraped the bottom of their to-do lists and got around to opening a new pension.

Interactive investor found that in the 12 days of Christmas from December 25 2020 to January 5 2021 inclusive, there was a 100% increase on the same period in 2019-20 in the number of customers opening Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs).

The increase cannot just be attributed to lockdown measures, as the rise between 2018-19 and 2019-20 was even higher, at 143%, suggesting that perhaps pension admin has been moving up the list of non-festive, Christmas activities - alongside Boxing Day sales and browsing property websites - for some time.

The increased interest in long-term financial management was not confined to pensions. The investment platform also saw an increase in the number of people accessing their investment accounts: General Investment Accounts and ISAs over the festive period.

More than a third of ii customers – 38%, accessed their ii accounts between December 25 and January 5, up from 32% of customers in the 12 days of Christmas in 2019-20 and 23% of customers in 2018-19.

Google Trends data on searches for ‘pension’ also suggests that the topic of pensions is becoming more prominent in general. Since the beginning of 2019, Google Trends has picked up an increase in the popularity of the search term “pension” in the UK (see notes to editors).

Becky O’Connor, Head of Pensions and Savings at interactive investor, said: “Downtime over Christmas often gives people the opportunity to catch up on things they have been meaning to get around to, and Christmas and New Year 2020-21 involved more downtime than usual. Our figures suggest that as a result, sorting the pension was ticked off many people’s to-do lists.

“Coupled with a greater focus for many this year on long-term financial security because of the impact of the pandemic, it looks like wanting to keep on top of long-term investments in general, not just pensions, was further forward in people’s minds over the last two to three weeks.

“But the increased interest in pensions is not just confined to gaps when there is nothing better to do. Google Trends data suggests that people in the UK have been entering the word ‘pension’ into their search bar with increasing regularity since the beginning of 2019, compared to the previous three years.”

Notes to editors

These articles are provided for information purposes only.  Occasionally, an opinion about whether to buy or sell a specific investment may be provided by third parties.  The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument or product, or to adopt any investment strategy as it is not provided based on an assessment of your investing knowledge and experience, your financial situation or your investment objectives. The value of your investments, and the income derived from them, may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

Full performance can be found on the company or index summary page on the interactive investor website. Simply click on the company's or index name highlighted in the article.

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