Increasing number of over-50s heading for a retirement crisis – are you one of them?

According to the latest report by the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI), up to a quarter of individuals nearing retirement (over five million workers) will not have enough money to pay for an ‘adequate’ standard of living.

Worsened by the pandemic – a large number of over-55s faced increasing levels of redundancies compared to all other age groups*, leading to individuals ending their careers sooner than planned, or before they could afford to.

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association recently reported that only one in three people can expect a ‘moderate’ life in retirement (highlighted in the table below), which is equivalent to £20,200 a year in income.

 

Single householdCouple household
Outside LondonLondonOutside LondonLondon
Minimum£10,500£12,700£16,100£20,300
Moderate£20,700£24,700£29,900£34,200
Comfortable£33,900£37,300£48,800£50,600

 

*Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association

For a more accurate way of calculating how much is enough in retirement, try using the Money Advice Service’s pension calculator here.

How to tackle a pension shortfall…

Contribute more into your pension

One way to ensure you will have enough for your retirement is to increase your pension contributions whilst you are still working. Current rules allow you to save up to £40,000 (or 100% of your earnings, if this is lower) into a pension, whilst taking advantage of tax reliefs. However, since 6 April 2020, individuals with an adjusted income over £240,000 or a threshold income over £200,000, will have their annual allowance for that tax year restricted – in this case, you may benefit from speaking to a financial adviser to determine the best course of action.

The PPI have recently called on the government to double the current minimum auto-enrolment contribution to 16% of wages to ensure workers are saving enough for retirement. Stephanie Hawthorne, Pensions World editor, backs this up in her article for ICAEW, stating ‘auto-enrolment pension contributions must rise as a matter of urgency’.

Why not take this opportunity to review the amount you are paying into your workplace pension and take advantage of employer contributions?

Ensure you receive a full state pension

Individuals are able to obtain a ‘state pension forecast’ by visiting the government website here. This tool can be utilised to ensure there are no gaps in your National Insurance contributions – if there is, it may be worth making these up, so you receive as much as possible upon retirement.

Speak to a financial adviser

If you are worried about a pension shortfall affecting you, speak to a financial adviser. We can help you consider the following:

  • How much you already have saved into your pension
  • The number of years you have left to work before retirement
  • How much you can afford to contribute to your pension, considering your other financial commitments
  • Whether you are expecting to increase/decrease pension contributions in the future
  • Do you have any other investments, and will they grow between now and retirement?
  • How much will your employer contribute to your pension?

We also use cashflow modelling software that can consider your assets and expenditure, highlight how much you need to save, highlight what growth rates are required and and create a long-term plan to ensure you meet your needs in retirement.

Get in touch

With a complex array of pension legislation and products available, it is more important than ever to seek professional and independent advice to ensure you are making the right decisions for your future. Contact our wealth management team (01254 679131 / wealthmanagement@pmm.co.uk) who will happily arrange a meeting at no cost to help you achieve more from your pension and long term financial plans.

 

  • Analysis by Rest Less based on Office of National Statistics figures
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