23% saving the most they can afford for retirement


Less than a quarter (23%) of respondents are saving the most they can afford into a pension, according to research by Friends Life. 

Its UK Retirement savings map, which surveyed 18,000 UK adults, benchmarked how active respondents are in saving into a pension. 

The North East, Scotland and the North West are the most financially prepared, while the East Midlands, East of England and South West are falling behind.

Savers in the South West and North East savers are the most realistic about their future income and almost three in five in the East Midlands, East of England and South West are not saving into a pension.

Income from the State pension, savings, investments, property, and private and workplace pensions were considered some of the most popular methods to fund retirement.

The report also found that 58% hold some form of pension, with 23% investing the maximum amount they can afford into their pension.

The average total amount of retirement savings is not sufficient once living and housing costs have been factored in, with people facing a financial shortfall of £96.67 per week.

According to the research, most savers expect to need £409 per week in retirement when their actual income from their retirement savings will be on average £312 per week.

Savers in the West Midlands, Scotland and South East are investing the maximum possible they can afford into retirement funds to secure their long-term financial future.

In the South West and North East, residents are most aware of the income they will need in retirement with the lowest shortfall between their likely income and housing and living costs. However, respondents in the East of England and Greater London are the least prepared and can expect the greatest financial shortfall in retirement.

On average, those in the East of England face an income shortfall of £105.38 per week, while those in Greater London face a shortfall of £123.85 per week.

Respondents iin Edinburgh are the most proactive at pension saving, while those in Bristol and Sheffield are the most aware of their expected income and spending habits in later years.

Londoners, who put away the least money, also face the highest living costs at £282 per week. Birmingham residents also face one of the greatest financial shortfalls of all the UK cities and are the second least likely to save money for retirement.

Andy Briggs, group chief executive at Friends Life, said:“It is encouraging to see areas of the UK where savers are actively managing their finances for their future. Acting today means these people are best positioned to secure the future they want in retirement.

However, our Retirement savings map shows that there are worrying areas of financial deficit where a combination of a lack of awareness, lack of planning and soaring living costs mean a future situation of income shortfall.

We, as an industry, together with government, employers and financial advisers need to do everything we can to help people in the UK save for their future to secure their financial wellbeing during retirement.”