Blow to millions of pensioners with ‘unrealistic’ retirement dreams due to lack of savings

Blow to millions of pensioners with ‘unrealistic’ retirement dreams due to lack of savings

UK tax levels 'way out of kilter from rest of Europe'

Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 18/03/2024

- 14:19

Updated: 18/03/2024

- 22:01

Many Britons are unaware of how much they saved in pension pot, according to new research

Millions of pensioners have “unrealistic” expectations for retirement due a lack of savings, a recent survey has found.

Experts are warning that many Britons are unaware of how much they have actually saved when planning for their retirement.

Research conducted by SmartSave revealed that more than two in five adults believe they will leave work either at the current state pension age or before.

As it stands, the age threshold is 66 and will rise to 67 by 2026. However, SmartSave’s survey suggests that millions could have to work longer to make their retirement dreams a reality.

The digital bank’s poll of 2,000 UK adults found that only 54 per cent of those planning an early retirement have a clear financial plan in place.

This figure drops slightly to 48 per cent among Britons who are aged 55 or older and plummets to 28 per cent with those who plan to retire early.

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Couple looking at finances

Experts are warning that retirees may not have enough saved than they would have hoped


Some 37 per cent of those looking to retire early retirement said that they do not know how many pension pots they have and how much is in them.

Notably, this figure increases significantly to 49 per cent of Britons who are retiring later in life.

Furthermore, over two-fifths of those surveyed were prompted to contribute more to their retirement savings by rising interest rates.

Just over half of respondents plan to finance their retirement by relying primarily on their workplace pension.

Among the 44 per cent of those planning to retire by the state pension age, 58 per cent still plan to work in some capacity.

Andy Mielczarek, the founder and CEO of SmartSave, urged pension savers to be aware of how much they have put away for retirement.

He said: “Whilst many Britons hope to start enjoying retirement at the earliest early opportunity, it is clear that those expectations might be a little unrealistic for those who don’t plan ahead.

“The research seems to suggest that there is a knowledge gap between savers' expectations for retirement and their realistic prospects.

Pension Update

Britons are being urged to check their pension pots as soon as possible


“Nobody can afford to sleepwalk through preparing for later life, and Britons need to arm themselves with all the tools and resources at their disposal to secure for themselves the brightest possible future.”

Mr Mielczarek suggested that anyone approaching retirement has a “robust long-term” strategy in place and regularly check their pension pots.

The CEO added: “The financial sector needs to do more to educate people about their financial wellbeing.

“Working with savers to help them fully understand their finances and establish healthy, lasting saving habits is an imperative for financial institutions, all of whom have a responsibility to help their customers make their retirement dreams possible.”

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