A recent survey conducted by Investing Reviews indicates that 70 percent of respondents believe it is now more challenging to retire comfortably in the UK compared to previous years.

The survey, which involved over 2,000 participants, aimed to gauge public opinions and attitudes towards retirement, pensions, and investments. Notably, the results show a striking similarity between UK and French sentiment regarding retirement ages. While France has witnessed growing tensions due to the proposed increase in the retirement age from 62 to 64, 68.71 percent of UK respondents also believe that the retirement age in the UK (currently set at 66) should be lowered. Moreover, 71.16 percent of respondents expressed the belief that retiring in the UK has become increasingly difficult.

However, the survey by Investing Reviews highlights that turning these sentiments into reality may prove challenging. A substantial 62.60 percent of participants indicated that their pension alone would not provide enough funds for a comfortable retirement, stating the need for additional investments. More than half of the respondents (55.82%) revealed their inability to contribute as much as they would like to their pension accounts.

How to retire: what about employer contributions?

When it comes to employer contributions, 42.66 percent of participants expressed their willingness to consider switching to a different sector if it meant receiving higher employer pension contributions. An analysis of official government data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) by Investing Reviews revealed that the sector with the highest percentage of employers contributing 20 percent or more to employee pensions is “public administration and defense (including compulsory social security),” while the sector with the lowest percentage is “wholesale and retail trade (including motor vehicles and motorcycle repair)” at just 1.3 percent.

The survey also uncovered a concerning lack of awareness among respondents about their pension savings. More than a third (34.93%) admitted they did not know the exact amount in their pension, and a similar proportion expressed doubts about retiring comfortably in the UK.

The sentiment surrounding the difficulty of retiring comfortably in the UK, coupled with frustrations over limited pension contributions, is reflected in respondents’ desire to retire abroad. A notable 42.66 percent agreed with the statement “If I was able to, I would choose to retire outside of the UK,” raising questions about the impact of rising inflation and the cost of living on retirees who opt to remain in the UK.

Commenting on the findings, CEO of Investing Reviews, Simon Jones says:

“There are endless debates to be had regarding the UK retirement age and the state of pensions, especially considering the recent rise in retirement age in France and the backlash that received. 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. It will be interesting to see if factors such as the backlash in France to the rise in the retirement age and the increasing difficulty of the cost-of-living crisis have any effect on these sentiments in the future.” 

The survey results reveal a growing concern among the British public regarding retirement, reflecting the need for further examination of pension provisions and retirement age policies. Policymakers and institutions may need to address these concerns to ensure a more secure and comfortable retirement for individuals in the UK.






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 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.