UK Pension Gap ‘widens’


The “confidence crisis” surrounding the British pensions sector is deepening, it has emerged.

According to Alliance Trust’s annual retirement confidence index (RCI), the gap in those failing to put money away for later life is rising as some 26 per cent of consumers are currently without any form of pension – up from 20 per cent noted last year. However, with evermore Britons set to face financial difficulties later in life, it appears that women could be in line for the greatest strife. Just under a third (31 per cent) of females are currently not making any contributions towards a savings fund, an increase from the 23 per cent recorded during last year’s RCI. Meanwhile, 22 per cent of men are without retirement provisions, up from the 17 per cent noted last year. Also the proportion of people that believe they will receive a state pension has dropped form 40 per cent last year to 35 per cent.

It was also revealed by the study that just over half (55 per cent) of Britons aged between 19 and 29 have not made any savings for later life. However, with this in mind, only six per cent of consumers in the age bracket feel “totally unconfident” that they will not be able to put enough money away to fund a “comfortable retirement”. Yet it was consumers in the “prime of their working lives” who could be set for the most retirement trauma as one in ten people aged between 30 and 49 are “totally unconfident” that they will be financially comfortable in later life. Meanwhile, only one per cent of Britons within this age group are “totally confident” about their future.

Hyman Wolanski, head of pensions at Alliance Trust, said: “It is worrying to see that many in the prime of their working lives are most uncomfortable about their retirement prospects. It has been made clear that action needs to be taken to overcome this problem, and to break the trend. Our research shows it is now more important than ever for people to ensure they have a proper pension plan tailored to suit their individual circumstances. For example, locking regular sums into a pension might often be put off in favour of more immediate financial demands but with the range of saving products available today, there is now much more flexibility than ever in how people can save for their future.”

He claimed that a pension is not the only method by which consumers can prepare for their financial future, indicating products such as individual savings accounts as possible options. Mr Wolanski stated “no matter what means are used, it is of the utmost importance that action is taken, and future provisions are made”.

And with millions of consumers struggling to save into pensions, problems managing their money may extend into other areas of their finances such as developing difficulties in paying back loans and credit cards. Consequently opting for a bad credit loan could well be an advisable option for reorganising your monetary situation and getting back on your feet. Earlier this year, James Cotton, mortgage specialist for London & Country, suggested that those who have taken out a bad credit loan may still be able to access mortgages with competitive rates of interest.

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