Almost 60% of people are thinking more about their financial future than before the pandemic, according to a new survey from Bank of Ireland.

While over a third of respondents said they are planning more for their retirement since Covid-19 hit, just 53% said they understand how pensions work.

The research reveals that while Irish people are saving, they are seeing little reward in the current ultra-low interest rate environment.

However, pension holders who choose well-diversified funds have seen positive returns over the last year.

"Many people still view the pension's area as a complex one, and something that’s hard to access," said Bernard Walsh, Head of Pensions & Investments at Bank of Ireland.

"They are put off by this perceived complexity, and then delay taking the necessary next steps.

"But our clear advice to customers remains the same, which is to start with the basics and to build up your knowledge and understanding which will help inform the planning for your financial future," he said.

The pensions’ survey shows that affordability is the main blocker when it comes to taking out a pension, with family life taking up the bulk of people’s incomes and parents less likely to take out a pension until they are much older and their focus shifts back to themselves.

The survey reveals that one in three people between the ages of 23 and 30 admit to not understanding how pensions work and therefore doing nothing about it.

However, from a financial planning point of view relevant research shows that the sooner you can start a pension the better, as it allows time for a pension pot to grow steadily until national retirement age.