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Over 55s have little saved for retirement

Published on 04 November 2011 04:00 PM

Only 38% of over 55s have saved or invested to provide additional income in retirement.

Support is needed to help people better financially prepare for retirement.

While three in four (76%) of 55 and overs have some assets, savings or investments, only two in five (38%) say these assets, savings or investments are to provide additional income in retirement, according to research* from Age UK Enterprises, the commercial services arm of Age UK. Of those with any assets, savings or investments, a fifth (21%) admit they have no idea what they are worth, and less than one in ten (7%) chose ‘maximising their investment returns' as the main thing they would look for when selecting a product.

The research found that around a third (30%) of 55 and overs with any assets, savings or investments have saved or paid into them for more than 40 years, while 13% have saved for 10 years or less. When asked about the financial assets they hold, more than half of 55 and overs (55%) own a house, either outright or with a mortgage, just over a third (35%) have a private pension, 16% have invested in stocks and shares and 10% have money in an investment fund.

Gordon Morris, Managing Director of Age UK Enterprises, said: 'It's clear too many over 55s find themselves facing a retirement where their income will be fixed, without being aware of the options available to improve it. At a time where soaring inflation puts greater pressure on managing costs, and low interest rates restrict savings returns, it is vital more is done to help people understand their financial choices. Taking action to shop around, particularly with complex financial products, as well as reviewing existing assets and savings can make a substantial difference to retirement income.'

Age UK is committed to helping consumers make the most of their money in retirement, including reviewing any benefits entitlements and providing support so people can make an informed choice when selecting financial products. The Age UK Equity Release Advice Service offers an advisory service which has been designed specifically to help and support people in later life to maximise income in retirement. It includes a benefits test to ensure individuals are receiving everything that they are entitled to, with any product recommendation based on an individual's circumstances. The Age UK Annuity Service offers a range of competitive annuity quotes and supports consumers in accessing the open market when purchasing the product.


Media Contact: Rhys Phillips or Anouchka Burton on 0207 360 7877 or

Notes to editors

The Age UK Enterprises Equity Release Advice Service is provided by Just Retirement Solutions Ltd. Customers who would like more information can call 0845 600 9275 or visit where more information is available.

The Age UK Annuity Service is provided by Premier Retirement Services, a division of JLT Benefit Solutions Ltd. Customers who would like more information can call 0845 600 9268 or visit where more information is available.

* Research commissioned on behalf of Age UK Enterprises. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from TNS Research International. Total sample size was 1249 adults aged 55+. Fieldwork was undertaken 14th to 20th September 2011. Figures were weighted to be nationally representative of the GB population.

Age UK

For media enquiries relating to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland please contact the appropriate national office: Age Scotland on 0131 668 8055, Age Cymru on 029 2043 1562 and Age NI on 028 9024 5729.

Age UK is the new force combining Age Concern and Help the Aged, dedicated to improving later life.

We provide free information, advice and support to over five million people; commercial products and services to over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and well being, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle. We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI (together the Age UK Family), our local Age UK partners in England and local Age Concerns. We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.

Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Together they have formed the Age UK Group ("we"). Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity's trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity). >Age UK Enterprises

To fund its charitable activities, Age UK needs a constant flow of independent income. It seeks to achieve this through a balance of traditional fund raising and trading activities.

The trading activities, through Age UK Enterprises enable it to meet the needs of older people, through products specifically designed to meet these needs; quality products such as general insurance and energy Services. Age UK Enterprises is the commercial services arm of Age UK.

Age UK Enterprises incorporates: Age UK Energy, Age UK Insurance Services and Age UK Guaranteed Funeral Plans. Go to for details.

Age UK Motor Insurance is now proudly on Which? Magazine's Recommended Providers List of car insurers. Which? Magazine analyse the whole UK car insurance market to find out which brands offer the best policies. Instead of picking Best Buys based on specific scenarios (that are only relevant in specific cases), the experts at Which? magazine focus on the quality of policies.

Age UK Enterprises is part of the Social Enterprise Coalition; an organisation that represents a wide range of social enterprises with the overarching aim of working in partnership for the creation of effective sector products, services and knowledge-sharing networks to help stimulate and encourage growth, development and sustainability of social enterprises in England.

Age UK Enterprises scooped up the ‘Customer Care Award' at the prestigious 2010 British Insurance Awards. The judges singled out Age UK Enterprises for its exceptional customer service which is provided by Ageas Insurance Ltd, as well as for glowing customer testimonials with a ‘world-class' customer satisfaction score of 85%, and 89% of customers saying that they would recommend Age UK Enterprises/Ageas (Insurance UK).

Age UK Enterprises Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority for insurance mediation (311438) and to introduce potential annuity customers. Age UK Enterprises Limited is registered in England and Wales No. 3156159, registered office: Age UK, 7th Floor, One America Square, 17 Crosswall, London, EC3N 2LB. VAT Number: 710 3843 66. Age UK Enterprises Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Age UK (registered charity No. 1128267 and registered company No. 06825798) and donates its net profits to Age UK.

Age UK England (charity number 261794) has merged with Help the Aged (charity number 272786) to form Age UK, a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England: registered office address Age UK, 7th Floor, One America Square, 17 Crosswall, London, EC3N 2LB, company number 6825798, registered charity number 1128267.

Just Retirement

Just Retirement (Holdings) plc was founded in 2004 and listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in December 2006. In November 2009, Just Retirement was acquired for £228m by Avalon Acquisitions Limited, a company backed by funds advised by Permira. The Group provides two products to those at or in retirement; enhanced annuities and equity release mortgages.

Enhanced Annuities

Annuities are contracts offered by the Group to people at retirement (annuitants) under which the Group undertakes to make a series of payments in the future in return for the immediate payment of a lump sum to the Group by the annuitant. This lump sum is provided by the annuitant's pension fund. The level of future payments is set according to the rates of return available within the capital markets and the expected longevity of the annuitant. In 2009, the total value of the annuity market in the UK was £10.8bn (source: Association of British Insurers "ABI"). Enhanced annuities are offered to people at retirement that may not live as long as average due to lifestyle (smoking, for example) or illness. Given the impact of these factors on longevity, it is possible for providers such as Just Retirement to offer "enhanced" annuity rates to those qualifying. In 2009, the total annual value of the enhanced annuity market in the UK was £1.8bn.

Just Retirement does not provide pension fund management. As such, it can only offer annuity contracts to those utilising the Open Market Option (OMO). OMO allows pension fund holders to "shop around" for an annuity rather than take that provided by the incumbent pension fund provider. At the end of 2009, the total value of annuities bought during the year using the OMO was £5.4bn.(source: Association of British Insurers "ABI")

Equity Release Mortgages

Equity release mortgages are advances made to homeowners in or at retirement. They fall into two main types: lifetime and reversion. Just Retirement only offers lifetime mortgages. This allows the homeowner to borrow a certain amount of capital against the value of their house. Although this advance carries a rate of interest, this is capitalised over the life of the mortgage. The loan, together with the accumulated interest, is repaid at the end of the mortgage. The equity release market is monitored by the industry body, Safe Home Income Plans (SHIP) and advice within the market is regulated by the FSA. SHIP recently announced that the total value of the UK equity release market in 2009 was approximately £950m.

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Last updated: Oct 20 2022

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