New poll shows widespread fear for the future
Six in 10 Scots feel uncertain that they will have enough money to comfortably live on when they retire, reveals a YouGov poll commissioned by Age Scotland.
The national charity for older people in Scotland has described the figures as “extremely worrying” and could result in a "serious pension income crisis in the future”.
They are calling on the UK and Scottish governments and employers to do much more to support employees of all ages in planning and saving for their retirement.
This would include regular and early access to information and advice about their pension savings and investments, including better understanding of workplace pension schemes to make the most out of them, and help to save more by maximising people’s incomes and reducing costs.
As the number of over 50s in the workforce will only grow as the population continues to age, the charity also believes that there must be a continued focus on creating age-friendly workplaces.
The poll found:
- 57% of over 18s were uncertain that they would have enough money in retirement, only 35% of respondents felt certain, and 9% didn’t know.
- The most uncertain age group was 25-34 and 45-54, with 70% of respondents in both age brackets uncertain they would have enough money to retire comfortably.
- Women were most uncertain (64%) compared to (40%) of males.
Women have cause to be more worried as the gender pension gap increases throughout their career, with research showing that women have lower pension pot sizes and the situation likely to deteriorate as they approach retirement.
The current cost-of living-crisis will also mean that people could be reducing or stopping pension contributions or using their retirement savings earlier than they had planned, which will have a big impact on what people have available to live on in later life.
Brian Sloan, chief executive at Age Scotland, said: “Our poll paints an extremely worrying picture of how financially uncertain the majority of Scots feel about their retirement. Amidst the biggest squeeze on household income in over 30 years, workers of all ages, especially those nearing retirement, are bound to be concerned about how the cost-of-living crisis will impact their income and finances in later life.
“For younger people it is unlikely that retirement is on their radar as it can feel like a long way off, and other costs such as housing, debt and childcare eat up a large amount of their take-home income, making any kind of saving, let alone for retirement, much less of a priority.
“But we also hear from too many people who are just a few years away from a planned retirement and are shocked to discover their projected pension income falls way short of their expectations. They then only have a short period of time to try and fix this, but at that stage it’s very hard to make a big enough impact.
“Doing the prudent thing for decades to come is much easier said than done as life gets in the way, but the earlier you start the better things can be.
“Knowing the right steps to take or where to turn for the right advice can also be very difficult. That is why we’re urging governments and employers to invest in employee financial wellbeing and ensure easy and regular access to information and advice for people to plan ahead, better understand their pension savings and how to grow them.
“Governments must also do much more to ease the cost-of-living burden being experienced by so many people, otherwise we could face a serious pension income crisis in the future with an even greater reliance on the State Pension.”