Pensions - Articles - Over 8m over 50s do not have enough money for retirement

Figures from over 50s finance experts SunLife - released just ahead of Pensions Awareness Week (September 14-18) – suggests that more than 7 million over 50s have no private pension and more than 8 million don’t think they have enough money to fund their retirement.

 New figures suggest up to 4.7million women and 3.6 million men over 50 don’t think they have enough money to fund their retirement

 In its Finances After 50 study, SunLife found that 28% of over 50s do not have a private or company pension. The number of people over 50 in the UK is now more than 25million, according to the ONS*, which indicates that around 7 million over 50s across the UK have no private pension savings.

 SunLife’s research shows that women over 50 are less likely to have a private pension than men of the same age – more than a third of women surveyed said they didn’t have a private pension (35%) – which across the UK is around 4.6million. Of the men surveyed, one in five said they didn’t (20%), which is equivalent to around 2.4million men across the UK.

 The study also found that a third of over 50s - which equates to 8.3million - say they don’t think they have enough money to provide them with sufficient income for their retirement with women are more worried about not having enough money in later life than men.

 Just 13% of women over 50 say they are confident they will have enough money for a retirement income; 36% don’t think they will have enough, which across the UK is around 4.7million women. In contrast, 22% of men over 50 say they are confident they have enough and 30% (equivalent to around 3.6million) say they don’t.

 Many over 50s say they will look to other income sources other than pensions for retirement income; 27% say they are hoping their partner or spouses’ pension will fund their retirement, rising to 30% of women, 12% say they are going to continue to work to provide an income, while 11% are expecting an inheritance to cover it, which suggests 2.7 million people over 50 are relying on being left money to fund their retirement.

 Simon Stanney, equity release director at SunLife said: “Pensions Awareness Week is all about raising awareness of pensions and the importance of retirement planning, but we can see from our research that many of those nearing retirement have concerns that they are not ready.

 “Obviously, the sooner you start saving into a pension, the better, but it is never too late. However, the older you are, the more you’ll need to put aside each month to build up that pot for retirement. We have a number of blogs on our site written by finance experts offering help and advice to people who have retired or are nearing retirement including What to do if you haven’t saved enough for retirement and How to make money in retirement.

 “For those who are worried that they will struggle to build up enough of a pension pot to fund their retirement, looking to property wealth could be a viable option.”

 There is a huge amount of wealth tied up in properties – particularly amongst older homeowners who have seen huge increases in the value of their properties over the years. SunLife’s research shows that on average, homeowners over 50 have seen their homes increase in value by £127,316 over the past 20 years.

 Simon continues “Downsizing is an option for many, however, our SunLife’s research shows that most over 50s don’t want to move, and this is where equity release could offer a solution. It allows homeowners over 55 to release some of the money tied up in the value of their home without having to move. Exploring Equity Release is a series of blogs, articles, tools and guides to help you work out if equity release is right for you and if so, how much equity you could release.”

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