Sunday, February 1, 2015

The 2014 retirement landscape in England

Do you live in England? Are you coming up to retirement age? If so, just what are your expectations? Well, Prudential has taken a look at the retirement landscape, uncovering just what the Class of 2014 are expecting. Did their interpretation of the landscape match your own experience 

Average expected retirement income:£15,800 per year
Those planning to retire this year are anticipating an annual income of almost £16,000, the highest expected income for three years, but there are clear differences between men and women. Men are anticipating an annual income of £18,900 while women expect to see 35% less at just £12,200 – a gender gap of £6,700 per year. Men feel more financially prepared for retirement too with 54% thinking they're well prepared, compared to 41% of women.

Key sources of retirement income: Company pension scheme and state pension
On average, an individual's company pension is expected to provide 35% of their retirement income – exactly the same amount as the state pension. Other sources of income will account for considerably less, but could well lead to a valuable top up – savings and investments will account for 11% of income and a personal pension will provide 9%, while an additional 5% will come from a part-time job and the same amount from "other" sources.

Barriers to securing an income: no personal pension, debt and family reliance
The research highlighted the worrying number of people without pension provision in place, with 14% of those planning to retire this year having no personal pension. A further 39% either overestimate the value of the State Pension or admit they have no idea how much it pays weekly, and that could mean there's a serious shortfall when it comes to achieving retirement goals.

Debt could have an impact too, with one in six having debts outstanding at an average of £24,800. Family commitments could be another source of lost income, with 39% planning to help their families financially even when they retire.
Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement expert at Prudential, commented on the study: "It's encouraging that this year's retirees have the highest expected incomes we've seen for three years, but concerning that so many people are taking debts with them into retirement. And while the gender gap between men's and women's income expectations is smaller than it was at its peak in 2010, it remains stubbornly wide.

"Our research also highlights the changing face of retirement – giving up work is typically now more of a gradual process than a ringed date in the calendar. For some this is a matter of personal choice but for others it is a financial necessity to keep earning. This highlights the need for people to save as much as possible as early as possible in their working lives."

So, will you meet your retirement expectations? And, perhaps more importantly, will £15,800 be enough to deliver the retirement you want? Hopefully you won't have too many major financial commitments – the mortgage will ideally have been paid off, while the majority of pre-retirees don't have any outstanding debts to worry about – and if you make sure to plan sufficiently there should be nothing to stop you achieving the lifestyle you want. 

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