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 It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.


Lieke Braadbaart

Online Writer
Published: 07/08/2017

A newly released global study has revealed that the UK is world-leading when it comes to ensuring workplace pensions are a key aspect of retirement income. Much of this is due to the introduction of automatic enrolment in 2012, which has ensured that the majority of working Brits are now part of their workplace's pension scheme and setting a little aside every month for their futures.

Sources of retirement income

Thanks to auto-enrolment, Brits now expect 32% of their retirement income to come from their workplace savings. Aegon looked at 15 countries across the globe, and found that overall, people expect workplace plans to fund 24% of their retirement income, so the UK is ahead of the curve.

In fact, the only country to place greater reliance on workplace savings for retirement is the Netherlands, with people there expecting 38% of their total pension income to come from employer schemes.

As for other sources of retirement income, globally 46% of such income was expected to come from government benefits, with the UK expecting 42% of their pension to come from the government. Within this, the younger generation is even less optimistic, as Brits aged 18 to 24 expect only 35% of their retirement income to come from government benefits, compared with the 50% expected by those close to retiring.

Brits expect the remaining 26% to come from their own savings and investments. Steven Cameron, Aegon UK's Pensions director, called this "a 'three-pillar' model with government benefits, employer pensions and personal savings all supporting individuals when they stop working and no longer have earnings from employment."

Preparing for retirement

Steven went on to say: "The research shows how each country is reacting to the crisis of an aging population in different ways. The UK's solution to focus on workplace savings makes it world-leading, whereas its decision to increase state pension age is likely to mean expectations from the state pillar remain below the international average."

Given the increased strain that an aging population will place on the state pension, those countries and people over-relying on the government to fund their retirement are likely to be disappointed. So, what can you do?

Aside from making sure that you, too, are enrolled in your workplace pension scheme if you can be, you could increase your monthly contributions there, or make sure your 26% (on average) retirement income from savings and investments is coming along. If you're happy to take some risk with your savings, you could invest in a stocks & shares ISA, or if you're under 40 you could open a lifetime ISA.

Especially those who are self-employed or working part-time and therefore likely not included in auto-enrolment need to think about their retirement income as soon as possible, and start saving. Read our guides on pensions and retirement to get a better idea of what your options are.


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