A recent survey conducted by Investing Reviews, a leading investment comparison site, has shed light on the sentiments of people in the UK regarding pensions and retirement.

The study, which polled over 2,000 participants, sought to understand their opinions and attitudes towards these critical financial matters.

The findings revealed a strong desire among the respondents for changes in retirement age policies in the United Kingdom.

A whopping 70 percent of those surveyed believe that it has become increasingly challenging to retire comfortably in the UK.

Also, an even higher percentage, 78 percent, expressed the view that the retirement age in the country should be lowered from its current level of 66.

The French revolt

Interestingly, these sentiments appear to echo the ongoing debate in France, where tensions have risen over the proposal to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64. In the Investing Reviews survey, nearly 69 percent of UK respondents expressed a desire for a lower retirement age, indicating a parallel sentiment with their French counterparts.

However, the survey also uncovered significant concerns about the adequacy of pensions in providing a comfortable retirement. A majority of respondents, 62.60 percent, stated that they believed their pension alone would not be sufficient to retire comfortably, highlighting the need for additional investments alongside their pension savings.

This concern is compounded by the fact that over half of respondents (55.82%) feel unable to make the level of pension contributions they would prefer.

What about employer pension contributions?

When it comes to employer contributions to pensions, a substantial portion of respondents (42.66%) indicated that they would consider changing their career to a sector that offers greater employer contributions. Notably, a prior study by Investing Reviews, analysing official government data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), identified “public administration and defence (including compulsory social security)” as the sector with the highest percentage of employers contributing 20 percent or more to employees’ pensions, while the “wholesale and retail trade (including motor vehicles and motorcycle repair)” had the lowest percentage, at only 1.3 percent.

Furthermore, over a third (34.93%) of respondents revealed that they do not have a clear understanding of the amount in their pension savings, raising concerns about retirement preparedness.

Retiring outside of the UK

The frustration regarding retirement in the UK and the limitations in pension contributions are reflected in responses to the question of whether respondents would choose to retire outside of the UK. A significant 42.66 percent of participants expressed a desire to retire abroad, suggesting that the rising inflation and cost of living in the UK may be making domestic retirement less appealing.

Commenting on the findings, Simon Jones, CEO of Investing Reviews, remarked, “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 also delved into respondents’ perceptions of their employers’ pension contributions, their confidence in retiring comfortably, and their satisfaction levels, revealing a complex landscape of financial concerns and aspirations among the UK population.

Full Survey Responses:

  • Q1. To what extent, if at all, do you agree or disagree with the following statement? My employer has discussed my pension options with me in detail:
    • Agree (net): 29.04%
    • Strongly agree: 10.43%
    • Somewhat agree: 18.61%
    • Neither agree nor disagree: 17.17%
    • Somewhat disagree: 11.78%
    • Strongly disagree: 15.62%
    • Disagree (net): 27.40%
    • N/A – I do not have a job or an employer: 26.40%
  • Q2. To what extent, if at all, do you agree or disagree with the following statement? I believe I will be able to retire comfortably:
    • Agree (net): 28.79%
    • Strongly agree: 7.68%
    • Somewhat agree: 21.11%
    • Neither agree nor disagree: 23.45%
    • Somewhat disagree: 16.97%
    • Strongly disagree: 16.27%
    • Disagree (net): 33.23%
    • N/A – I do not plan to retire: 3.64%
    • N/A – I am already retired: 10.88%

These survey results highlight the pressing concerns and aspirations of the UK population when it comes to retirement and pensions, signalling a need for policymakers and employers to address the challenges faced by those looking to retire comfortably in the country.

 

 

 

 

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.