Pensions Through the Ages - in depth research into pension savings

30 October 2015
Royal London’s report into retirement savings was published on 30 September.
In more detail

The objective of the report was to investigate how prepared people are for their own retirement, with particular focus on those who are roughly half way towards that objective.

In order to achieve this we asked an independent researcher, Harris Interactive UK, to interview 3 groups of individuals:

  • Young savers – aged between 18-29
  • Mid-way savers – aged 30-40
  • Retired savers – aged 60-75

The attitudes of each group were compared, and also analysed across different regions of the UK to identify at what age people are likely to start thinking about retirement and what action they are likely to have taken at each life stage.

The report also uses data from the Centre for Economic and Business Research in order to calculate the amounts that people should be investing to provide a comfortable retirement, and to compare this with their actual savings.

Download a copy of the full report Pensions Through the Ages.

Focus on mid-way savers

  • 40% of people in their 30s who are not yet saving intend to rely on the state pension (despite the fact that 46% said they could not live off it). Worryingly, 42% of this group then went on to say they did not believe the state pension would even exist in 2050.
  • 57% of people in their 30s said they would work part time if they need to supplement their retirement income. This compares to 11% of today's 'retired savers' who are in some form of employment.
  • 75% of people in their 30s expect to spend 10-30 years in retirement - which suggests that people are beginning to appreciate increasing life expectancy, even if they are not yet preparing for it.

All of this means incentivising people to save must be a crucial part of the agenda going forward. And the Treasury's review is well-timed.

However, our research found that 84% of both young and mid-way savers would be likely, very likely or definitely would save more if they were given an incentive from a third party. This was described as one "which means that for every £2 you save you receive an extra £1". 

The proposed move to awarding tax relief on exit would not achieve this; it seems that people do respond to an up-front incentive, but a simpler structure or clearer explanation of the benefits is required.

Further information

Our research was carried out by Harris Interactive UK Ltd between 14 August and 19 August 2015:

  • Survey of 3,060 UK adults aged: 18-29 (741 respondents); 30-40 (1,186 respondents) and 65-75 (1,133 respondents).
  • All 18-40 year olds interviewed were in paid employment.
  • Data weighted on age, gender and region to reflect the working population aged 18-40 and the general population aged 65-75.
About the author

Fiona Tait

Pension Specialist

Fiona joined the life and pensions industry in 1989. She is a Fellow of the Personal Finance Society, an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute and is currently Vice-President of The Insurance Society of Edinburgh. Fiona specialises in the areas of at retirement planning and pensions and divorce.

Last updated: 20 Nov 2015

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