Britain's retirement confidence has hit its lowest point in three years, with nearly three quarters of the nation worried about affording a comfortable retirement, according to Alliance Trust Savings.
In its third year, the Alliance Trust Savings Retirement Confidence Index shows a widening gap between people confident about their retirement prospects and those who are not.
The research found only one in three Britons believe they will be able to enjoy a comfortable retirement. While in 2006, 38% of Britons said they were concerned about their retirement provisions, the figure rose to 40% in 2007 and reaches 43% in 2008.
Retirement concerns are particularly prevalent among 30 to 50 year olds, with almost half of this pre-retirement group not confident about being able to provide for a comfortable retirement. This figure has risen from 43% for the previous two years.
The research also found women have a more negative outlook on their retirement prospects. Almost half of women are worried about their retirement provision, compared to 36% of men.
Steve Latto, pensions development manager at Alliance Trust, says Britain’s wallets are starting to feel the pinch.
“In the current economic conditions, consumers are taking a much more pessimistic view of their retirement prospects and are losing confidence about being able to provide for a comfortable retirement life."
Latto believes it is important to remember retirement planning is a long-term process, where the earlier people start saving, the easier it will be for them to accumulate a sufficiently big enough fund.
“While the current economic conditions may tempt people to reduce their pension contributions or even delay starting a pension until ‘better times’, this approach should be considered carefully."
Retirement planning can be as easy as starting to save in an ISA which can later be transferred into a pension wrapper and attract tax relief of up to 40%, he says.
“We would encourage people to ensure they start planning for their life after work now and hopefully we will see the Alliance Trust Retirement Confidence Index move upwards in the future.”IFAonline
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