Published On: Thu, Sep 5th, 2019

Pension news: Half of over 55s not feeling prepared for retirement – expert urges review | Personal Finance | Finance

A private pension, the state pension, and savings are what many people will rely on during their retirement. However, a new survey has taken a closer look at the extent of people who do not feel prepared for this time of life. According to new research from Close Brothers, nearly half of UK workers (46 per cent) who are aged 55 or older have revealed they feel they have a lack of preparation. The Close Brothers Financial Wellbeing Index, developed in conjunction with corporate wellbeing expert Professor Sir Cary Cooper, highlights that the matter is causing significant concern to employees.

Almost a third (31 per cent) have said that funding their retirement comes in the top three of their money worries.

This figure rose to 45 per cent for the over 55 age group, as they approach retirement.

Meanwhile, just 35 per cent of mid-career admitted this worry, while it stood at 19 per cent of millennials.

Gender was also a notable factor in terms of concern for retirement preparedness, according to the research.

Around three quarters of women (74 per cnet) said they don’t feel prepared for retirement – compared to just over half (54 per cent) of men.

The survey, which included 1,003 employers with 200 or more employees and 5,003 employees from companies with 200 or more employees, revealed 41 per cent of women feel unconfident about the possibility of them retiring at the age they want to, compared to 23 per cent of men.

Jeanette Makings, Head of Financial Education at Close Brothers said: ”It is worrying that so many employees approaching retirement feel anxious and unprepared.

“This not only impacts their own financial health but also has a knock on effect on the workplace, with people deferring retirement, increased people costs and blocked succession pathways.

“To support individuals in feeling able to retire when they want, organisations can engage all staff with planning for retirement throughout their career, and not just in the final countdown years.”

She continued: “With pension freedoms and reduced lifetime and annual allowances, pensions are no longer the only solution to save for a secure retirement, but they are still the bedrock and most significant option for most employees.

“It’s imperative that employees understand their pension and the importance of saving for retirement throughout their life not just when approaching retirement.

“Regular monitoring, education, and engagement helps develop the necessary tools to take control, as well as helping guide them to make informed choices to suit their savings needs.

“This is just as vital for employees joining their first workplace, as it is to those at the point of retirement.”

Meanwhile, Professor Sir Cary Cooper, a leading expert in workplace wellbeing at ALLIANCE Manchester Business School, University of Manchester urged workers to regularly review their retirement preparations, at all ages.

He said: “The report has produced astonishing findings, and it is absolutely necessary for employees to start planning for their retirement early.

“Reviewing how much you are saving into your pension a few times a year can go a long way.

When you keep track and know how much you are putting away, you can make necessary changes where needed and feel more relaxed and confident about approaching retirement.

“Going forward, we all need to think about the ageing population in the UK. We are living longer and must consider the extra money that will be required to fund a longer retirement, as well as the additional costs of social care.

“We must think ahead and engage with our retirement plans now, to worry less later and enjoy a comfortable retirement.”

READ MORE: State pension age changes for women – how the rise may affect your free bus pass

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