New research has highlighted a gap in regional pensions savings or “retirement readiness” among workers across the country.
Findings from think tank Phoenix Insights, which surveyed 2,500 working adults aged 45-plus in the UK, found that people in the Midlands and the North are saving 40% less than those in Greater London and the East.
Nearly three in 10 (28%) respondents in in Wales, Scotland and the South believe they won’t have enough money for retirement, compared to just over one in five in the East Midlands and the Southwest, cited by 21% and 22% respectively.
Patrick Thomson, head of research analysis and policy at Phoenix Insights, said: “People across the UK are living longer lives than their parents and grandparents and unlocking opportunities they never had. But this isn’t being felt evenly around the country. Most people are not saving more to reflect the fact they may be retired for longer, and many are starting to think they might want or need to work for longer than they planned, often in order to meet their retirement income needs or help their loved ones financially too.”
The survey further found that six in 10 (60%) of adults in the Northeast, Greater London and Wales think they will need to work past the state pension age of 66, compared to just over half (52%) of those living in the Northwest and Yorkshire and Humberside.
Three in 20 (15%) do not know where their main source of income will be in retirement, rising to nearly one in five (19%) among people in the East Midlands. Workers in the Northeast and Wales were the most likely to rely on personal or workplace pensions, cited by 48% and 43% respectively.
Workers in Northern Ireland (38%) and the Southeast (33%) were among the most likely to rely on the state pension as their main source of retirement income, while those in Greater London are the expect their primary income to come from other investments (8%).
Thomson added: “To enjoy fulfilling longer lives, Phoenix Group recognises that we all need to think differently about our futures, and the futures of those we care about. The journey to retirement has already changed for many people, with some reducing their hours in the run up, others embarking on second careers later in life or actively choosing to work beyond state pension age for a variety of reasons. There are also those who have left the workforce early due to ill health or through caring responsibilities.
“Our research shows that we can’t afford to take a one-size-fits-all approach to solving things. We need to look at better opportunities for employment and savings, and the government’s approach must reflect the needs of all parts of the UK to make a real difference to people’s longer lives.”