17.08.12

12 per cent of British Adults Plan Never to Retire

New research has found that more than 2.1 million British adults aged between 55 and 64 do not know when they will be able to retire.

The study by Baring Asset Management also found that 12 per cent of all non-retired British adults do not plan to retire at all.

The findings are in stark contrast to the survey results from before the 2008 financial crisis, when 100 per cent of non-retired respondents were confident that they would be able to retire, and only 1 per cent unsure at what age they would be able to do so.

There has also been a significant change in the outlook of people closest to retirement age (those aged 55-64) in only the last year. In 2011, 30 per cent (or 1.5 million people) were unable to say at what age they planned to retire, however this year’s figure has increased to 44 per cent (or 2.1 million people). This increase equates to 660,000 more adults of retirement age not knowing when they will be able to stop working than a year ago.

The research suggests that proportionally men are more likely than women to retire later, with almost two thirds (65 per cent) of men planning to retire over the age of 65, compared to 35 per cent of women.

Over a third (36 per cent) of non-retired adults does not have a pension, and of those in the 55-64 year age group, 30 per cent do not have a pension, a rise from 26 per cent in last year’s survey.

Marino Valensise, of Baring Asset Management, which commissioned the ICM research, commented;

“Our research reveals that, for a worryingly large proportion of the British population, retirement is very uncertain. A significant number cannot afford to retire, owing to a combination of increasing longevity, a decline in the value of annuities and a lack of pension savings. The auto enrolment scheme may go some way to addressing this problem and it will be interesting to see how this impacts the results of our survey next year.

“Particularly concerning is the fact that such a huge proportion of people aged 55 – 64 do not know when they will be able to retire. It is likely that these people will have suffered pension losses in recent years due to the financial crisis and therefore need to work longer to recoup funds.

“With a high number of younger people also failing to save, it is essential that the benefits of a pension are understood to avoid further generations of pension poverty. While financial demands extend beyond saving for retirement, starting to build a pension early in your working life is absolutely key to ensuring a comfortable retirement.”

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