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Pre-retirees are unprepared for retirement

Pre-retirees are unprepared for retirement

Category: Retirement

Updated: 10/03/2016
First Published: 10/03/2016

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Do you feel prepared for retirement? If research from wealth managers Sanlam is anything to go by, you may not, even if you're rapidly approaching what could be called "traditional" retirement age.

The research, part of the Which Way Forward? report, found that 40% of those aged 60+ who are still in work feel unprepared for retirement, with many being completely in the dark about their future: 39% admitted that they don't know how much they have in their pension pot, for example, while 29% weren't even aware of the pension freedoms that were launched in April last year.

Furthermore, many anticipate working longer, with a fixed retirement age becoming a thing of the past. The figures revealed that less than 2% expect to retire before the age of 61, and 30% anticipate that they'll still be working at 70 and beyond – with 13% of those expecting to work past 75.

In contrast, nearly half of those who were already retired when questioned had left work before the age of 61, and almost all had retired by 67, showing how rapidly the retirement landscape is shifting. This is further highlighted by the finding that, rather than aiming for a fixed retirement date, nearly half of pre-retirees now envisage a retirement that's phased in over a few years, with only three in 10 expecting to retire outright over a shorter period.

This suggests that large numbers of people are having to reconsider or delay their retirement plans, with much of this being driven by the need to secure sufficient income before they leave work entirely.

"The face of retirement planning is changing," said David Dunn, pensions specialist and author of the Which Way Forward? Paper. "Following the Government's new pension freedoms introduced in April, people now have more choice as to how they use their pension pots.

"Although this gives people more flexibility to organise their finances, it also brings extra responsibility when making such important decisions. [The paper] clearly shows that a seminal change is taking place; it is now time for the Government and pension providers alike to be innovative and provide retirees guidance and products to suit the new 'normal' of retirement."

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