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‘Will we ever summit the pension mountain?’

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 New analysis from Royal London

New research by mutual insurer Royal London has found that the pension pot needed to avoid an uncomfortable retirement – dubbed the ‘pension mountain’ – has grown in size in real terms by three quarters since 2002 from around £150,000 to £260,000.  More worryingly still, falling levels of home ownership mean that younger generations who end up having to pay rent in retirement could need a total pot as high as £445,000 to avoid a slump in living standards when they stop work.

Royal London’s new policy paper – ‘Will we ever summit the Pensions Mountain?’ – seeks to answer the most frequently asked question in pensions – how much do I need to save for my retirement?  It looks at an average earner on just under £27,000 per year and assumes that they draw a full state pension of just over £8,500 per year.  It assumes that retirement will bring some cost savings such as no longer having to pay a mortgage, no longer having to contribute into a pension and no work-related costs such as season tickets etc., and therefore suggests that workers who can retire on two thirds of their pre-retirement wage will see no fall in their standard of living when they stop work.   This means a private pension income of just over £9,000 is needed in addition to the state pension.

Back in 2002/03, when interest rates were much higher and life expectancy was lower, a pension pot of around £150,000 would have delivered a private pension at this level through retirement.  But as the chart below shows, the pension mountain has grown since then to stand at roughly £260,000 today.



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