Date posted: 12/02/2018

Aspects of community attitudes to retirement in Britain

It is always interesting to compare how Australians and New Zealanders are preparing for retirement with citizens of other first world countries.

In brief

  • UK statistics for thought - UK’s Office of National Statistics released early data.
  • Will debt be a burden. What do the stats say

Earlier this month the UK’s Office of National Statistics released early data on its latest Wealth and Assets survey dealing with the 16/17 year period.  This survey looks at attitudes to saving for retirement, automatic enrolment into workplace retirement schemes, credit commitments and debt burden.

Some of the interesting findings are as follows:

  • Only a nominal number of UK citizens think that shares will be their primary source of retirement income; the significant majority think it will come from workplace pension schemes
  • Only 18% of all adults said that their decisions on pensions, savings or investments had been influenced by anything in the wider world (in 2014/16 the equivalent number was 15%) – given the Brexit vote and other geopolitical impacts ordinarily you might have considered this number would be higher
  • 59% of UK working citizens expect to retire at some stage between ages 65and 69; in addition there is has been no increase in the relatively small percentage of British workers wanting to retire from at least age 70 – these numbers are very little changed from previous editions of this research
  • 38% of respondents – not significantly changed from previous research – thought that they would be retired for between 20 and 24 years; as might be expected a larger proportion of older non-retired workers had thought about this question than younger workers
  • 54% of men under 65 and women under 60 still in the workforce were confident their retirement income would provide them with the ideal statement of retirement when they finally stopped work
  • 8% of all adults said their the financial burden of paying off non-mortgage debt was a constant burden; 21% said this type of debt was somewhat of a burden.

So what are New Zealanders and Australians attitudes to these particular issues in relation to retirement in particular?  There is a lot a research on these topics that is available.  We plan to release a paper on some research that we have commissioned in the near future.

Early indicator estimates from the Wealth and Assets Survey

Report on: attitudes towards saving for retirement, automatic enrolment into workplace pensions, credit commitments and debt burden, July 2016 to June 2017.

Read Report

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