According to analysis by Aviva1, the number of people retiring before they reach age 65 is set to continue decreasing rapidly. The insurer calculates that by 2035 almost no one will be able to afford to retire early.
Higher life expectancy, the demise of final salary pensions and a rising state pension age are contributing factors. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show a record 10.1 million over 50s remain in work, with 1.2m of these workers aged over 65. Ten years ago, less than 700,000 over-65s were in work. In 1998 the figure was much lower at 434,000.
Aviva’s analysis also shows the decline in workers aged 16 to 64 who define themselves as “retired”. This population of “early retirees” peaked at 1.6m in August 2011, but has since witnessed a continual decline. When it comes to funding our longer lives in retirement, there are two options – save more or work longer. For many the best option seems to be a mix of the two.
Have you ever wondered if you’re on track for a comfortable retirement? The stark reality is that putting something aside for old age has become an unavoidable necessity these days. As life expectancy rises, many of us can expect 45 years in employment followed by 30 years of retirement. No one wants to face financial worries in retirement, so keeping an eye on your pension throughout your working life makes good sense; even if retirement currently seems a lifetime away, it will come around quicker than you think.
You can keep focused on your retirement planning by:
- Arranging a regular review to ensure you’re keeping your retirement savings on track
- Making pension saving a priority. Think about topping up your contributions whenever your financial circumstances permit; remember, within limits they attract valuable tax relief
- Knowing your state pension age and getting a forecast of how much you’ll receive.
As part of the government’s drive to ensure we all make adequate provision for retirement, employers are now obliged, subject to age and earnings thresholds, to automatically enrol their employees into a qualifying pension scheme, where employees and employers make monthly contributions. More younger workers than ever before are now saving for retirement and will receive regular statements enabling them to track their pension savings over the years.
Personal pension plans also offer tax breaks to encourage us all to provide adequately for retirement.
If it’s been a while since you looked at your pension, why not arrange a review with a regulated independent financial adviser?