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
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
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
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
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