Brits expect comfortable retirement but rely on the state to fund it

Robyn Hall

March 17, 2010

Despite 91% of people agreeing that they were personally responsible for ensuring that they are financially stable during retirement, the research shows that 93% of Britons plan on taking state benefits when they retire.

Only 2% of respondents stated that they would refuse as they don’t want to be a burden on the state.

Indeed, 61% of people intend to fund their retirement through a state pension, vs. only 35% of Britons who will rely on a private pension.

However, not all Britons will rely on standard pension provisions to fund their retirement; 50% of Britons will use their savings, and 17% of Britons intend to plug the gap in their pension savings by working part-time to supplement their income.

The pension saving patterns of Britons remain inconsistent, as 34% of Britons have no regular pension plan, whilst 21% have saved into one in the past, but no longer do.

Even more contradictory, 21% of Britons say that their structured pension plan will make up a large part of their retirement provision, but 23% of those who save regularly into pension plans reveal that it won’t be enough for them to retire comfortably on, leaving a gap in their finances.

Other key findings of the research found that:

• 70% of people would like the government to do more to educate them about retirement financial planning.

• Only 17% of people have had help planning their retirement from a financial adviser (either as a one off, or as regular help)

• 52% of people agreed that they were scared about how they would finance their retirement.

• 71% of Britons hadn’t spoken to their partner about planning their retirement finances

• 70% of people expect to have a better or equal standard of retirement than their parents

Andrea Rozario, Director General of SHIP, said: “It is clear that many people are living in a retirement funding daydream. They aren’t saving enough money, they aren’t consulting financial advisers and they aren’t talking about their options with their families- and yet they still expect to have a comfortable retirement, with the help of the state.

“Unfortunately, the well is running dry. In 2030 there will be 14,678,000 over 65’s* – more than ever before- and no way of supporting all of those in need.

“British people and the Government need to look at what is often their greatest asset- their property. By 2030, the over 65’s will be able to access £359 billon worth of housing equity, and could be using this to ensure the comfort of their retirement, rather than relying on a pot of public resource that may not stretch to accommodate them.”

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