Millions Of Workers Face A Bleak Retirement

Retirement may be a thing of the past for millions of workers, according to a new survey.

More than a third of workers – that’s around 12 million people – have no idea of when they will retire or whether they can afford to give up work.

The problem is worse for the over 65s, with nearly double the number unsure this year of when they can stop working compared with previous years.

Around 30% have no retirement date pencilled on the calendar – but only last year the figure was 18% and dropped to 15% in both 2011 and 2012.

The study from Barings found the preferred retirement age is an average 63 years old, although workers aged under 34 are aiming for 61, but workers over 65 expect to stay at work until they are 70.


“Changes to pensions and retirement ages coupled with low interest rates and financial problems have all combined to inject a lot of uncertainty into when workers feel they can retire,” said Rod Aldridge of Barings.

“Many workers who thought they would have retired by now find themselves continuing to have to work to make up financial shortfalls because they have not saved enough for their retirement.

“With many people also living longer, many workers are worried that they do not know how much to save and that their money may run out before they die.”

The research has showed a consistent trend of a third of workers admitting they have no pension savings. The figure has remained static since 2008.

Gender gap

The study also showed Londoners are more likely to have retirement savings (71%) than workers in the North West, where 41% have no pension.

A rift is also growing between retirement savings for men and women – the number of men with no pension has fallen from 30% in 2008 to 25% this year, while for women, the number has increased from 39% last year to 41% this year.

The first Barings survey in 2008 measured the gap between men and women with pensions as 9 percentage points. Now, the difference is 16 percentage points.

“The gender gap is very worrying,” said Aldridge. “Women are lagging a long way behind men in the retirement savings stakes and there are no signs of the gap closing in the near future.

“With women more likely to live longer than men, the fact they have less or no savings could mean they face a difficult financial future.”

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