A promising week for future pensioners

 This week has seen mixed reports of the state of the UK's pensions savings. While Aegon research found a third of over 55s aren't saving for retirement, reports of a healthy equity release industry, smart younger savers and auto-enrolment reaching one million workers painted a more positive picture.

According to Aegon, younger generations are leading the way in demonstrating a good awareness of retirement planning and personal responsibility, with over half of those in the 25-34 year old age group saving into pension plans and the majority holding a good or exact understanding of how much these will be worth when they come to retire.

Other reports found NEST, the Government's scheme to automatically sign workers into a pension has also been a success, reaching the one million mark in its first nine months with an opt-out rate of just 10%. The initiative is a definite step in the right direction to reverse decades of declining pension savings. The ambition to have every employer in the country participating by 2018 should help support pensions savings steady rise over the coming years.

For those already at retirement age, equity release performed exceptionally well in the first 6 months of 2013. The Equity Release Council reported a 9% increase in the average amount of equity released from £50,716 in first two quarters of 2012 to £50,065 so far this year, indicating customers are increasingly confident about making use of property wealth as part of their financial planning.

Equity release can also help out the over-55s who own their own home but who are financially unprepared for retirement. With careful consideration and expertise advice it can be used in a variety of situations - including supplementing retirement income and covering the costs of elderly care. Continued market innovation and quality equity release advice will be crucial to attract future equity release customers, encouraging the increasingly savvy younger generations to include it in their retirement planning. 

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