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New research from The People’s Pension and YouGov finds that more than half of British people believe they won’t have enough money to maintain their desired lifestyle in retirement. 


  • More than half (52%) of UK adults who are planning on retiring, expect that their financial situation will not support their desired lifestyle in retirement
  • More than 8 million adults under the State Pension age expect to work part-time to support themselves once they retire[1]
  • More than half of those aged 55 and over do not know what the full basic weekly State Pension rate is
  • Almost one in five aged 55+ do not know at what age they will start receiving a State Pension

The majority of people in the UK believe that they will not have enough money to maintain their desired lifestyle in retirement, according to new research from The People’s Pension.

In a poll of over 4,000 people, conducted by YouGov on behalf of The People’s Pension, more than half (52%) of UK adults who are planning on retiring, expect that their financial situation will not support their desired lifestyle in retirement. Therefore, many are looking to other sources of income to fund their retirement. Almost four in ten (39%) said that they would be working part-time, more than a quarter (27%) said that they would be looking to downsize their property and 24% said that they will rely on receiving inheritance from family and friends to support them financially. 

Recent changes in State Pension age seem to be adding to the lack of certainty about how people will fund their financial future. Following the Government’s announcement that it will bring forward the rise in the State Pension age, more than half (52%) of UK adults who are not already retired, admitted they are unsure at what age they will start receiving the State Pension.

Most strikingly, even those closest to retirement age seem to be in a real monetary muddle. Although unaffected by the most recent State Pension announcement, almost one in five (18%) non-retired people aged 55 and over said that they didn’t know at what age they would start receiving a State Pension, while over half (55%) admitted they didn’t know what the full State Pension weekly rate currently is.  

Less surprisingly, the problem of a lack of pensions understanding is significantly worse among young people, with 93% of 18 – 24-year olds not knowing the State Pension weekly rate and 83% not knowing when they will be able to receive their State Pension. However, the research shows that the younger generation are realistic when it comes to when they expect that they will retire. 31% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 said that they will likely retire aged 65 – 69 while 23% said that they would likely be aged 70 or over before they retire.

Darren Philp, Director of Policy and Market Engagement at The People’s Pension, said:

“This research confirms that the concept of a “carriage clock” retirement, whereby people completely stop work and rely on their pension savings is consigned to history. Instead, people appear to be planning for a phased retirement, where they may choose to work part-time, or surviving on uncertain funding sources such as an inheritance or property. Most worryingly, these “precarious pensioners” are not solely the generations of the future but include those over 55, many of whom may be unprepared financially for imminent retirement.”

The People’s Pension has created a simple five-point plan to help those in workplace pensions take steps to improve their retirement outcomes:

1.	Think about your retirement. Do some basic calculations and think about what you might need 2.	Activate your online account so that you can see if you are on track 3.	Increase your contributions – pay in what you can afford and maximise what your employer will contribute 4.	Don’t opt out – you’ll miss out on free money from your employer  5.	Nominate beneficiaries – make sure your pension scheme knows your wishes in the event of your death


Philp continued:

“It’s clear that much still needs to be done to help ensure that people fully understand what support is available to them and when. We’ve created a simple 5-point plan to show that taking control of your pension doesn’t have to be complicated and that a few small steps can be a great starting point for anyone looking to improve how they plan for their financial future.”


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Notes to editors: Research conducted by YouGov on 4,484 adults in the UK between 31st July and 2nd August 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

About The People’s Pension

The People’s Pension is the largest private sector master trust (multi-employer pension scheme) in the UK, with 3 million members and over 65,000 employers signed up. Run by B&CE, a not for profit company, it offers a simple and low cost automatic enrolment workplace pension solution for employers of any size from any sector. We tweet as @peoplespension.


About B&CE

B&CE is a not-for-profit organisation – we operate for the benefit of our members and their dependents. We were founded in the construction industry back in 1942. Now we offer a workplace pension, employee accident cover and employee life cover. 

[1] Calculation made by The People’s Pension using YouGov survey data and ONS mid-year 2016 population estimates