A recent survey conducted by Investing Reviews has shed light on the prevailing sentiment among Brits concerning retirement age and pension provisions.
The study, which gathered insights from over 2,000 participants, revealed that a significant portion of respondents believes that retiring comfortably in the United Kingdom is becoming increasingly difficult. Notably, a staggering 78 percent of those surveyed advocated for a reduction in the retirement age.
With concerns mounting over the pension landscape, 70 percent of respondents expressed the belief that achieving a comfortable retirement in today’s UK is more challenging than ever before.
These sentiments align with the ongoing tensions in France, where protests and discontent have erupted due to the proposed increase in the retirement age from 62 to 64. The UK’s sentiments toward retirement age appear to mirror those of the French population.
Remarkably, the survey indicated that a substantial proportion of respondents are willing to relocate for their retirement, with 42 percent of Brits expressing a preference for living abroad. The notion of seeking retirement outside the UK raises questions about the country’s rising inflation rates and the cost of living, which might be hindering retirees’ ability to sustain their desired lifestyle.
While the majority of respondents (68.71%) advocated for a lower retirement age, the study also highlighted other concerns related to pensions. Over 60 percent of participants expressed doubts about their pension’s adequacy for a comfortable retirement. A significant portion of respondents (55.82%) indicated that they faced limitations in making contributions to their pension funds as desired, which might be contributing to these concerns.
The survey also delved into sentiments about employer contributions to pensions. Surprisingly, more than 40 percent of respondents indicated a willingness to switch to entirely different career sectors if it meant enjoying higher employer pension contributions. The study drew attention to the disparities in pension contributions across sectors, with the ‘public administration and defence’ industry standing out for its relatively higher employer contributions compared to sectors like ‘wholesale and retail trade.’
Uncertainty surrounds pension funds
Another concerning aspect revealed by the survey is the uncertainty many individuals have about their pension funds. Over a third of participants confessed to not having a clear understanding of their pension’s value. This uncertainty aligns with the sentiment of nearly 35 percent of respondents who believed they would not be able to retire comfortably in the UK.
Commenting on the findings, Simon Jones, CEO of Investing Reviews, stated, “These responses offer a fascinating insight into the attitudes that the British public hold towards pensions and retirement ages, particularly the sentiment that it is now harder to retire comfortably than ever before.” Jones also pointed out that recent events, such as the backlash against retirement age increases in France and the challenges posed by the cost-of-living crisis, could impact these sentiments in the future.
The survey data provides a comprehensive view of public opinion on retirement and pensions, reflecting concerns about the current state of retirement provisions in the UK and indicating a desire for policy changes that would allow individuals to retire earlier and more comfortably.
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.