A new survey by Prudential shows that over a third of people who had intended to retire this year
have had to delay their retirement plans due to financial pressures.
According to the pension company’s “Class of 2011” report, 38 per cent of those who had planned
to start drawing their pensions this year have had to postpone their retirement. 40 per cent of those
asked said they now expected to have to work until they are at least 70 years old, if they are to have
a comfortable income in retirement.
The report also showed a geographical split, with 43 per cent of those living in London and 44 per
cent of the South West saying they would have to postpone retirement plans – compared with 31
per cent of workers in Scotland.
The director general of Saga, Dr Ros Altmann, said: “It is a difficult problem – so many can simply
not afford retirement. They have debts and are still paying off mortgages. Many people extended
their mortgages and took out extra loans in the hope they could pay them off with the income from
other pensions and investments. But too often this has just not happened and the result is that
people are having to keep working. The whole situation is quite serious.”
Although the government has taken a strong stance on phasing out the standard retirement age of
65, some critics say they haven’t done enough to help people in their 60s who still want to work but
may face age discrimination in the jobs market.
Dr Altmann commented: “For people that are well qualified and on good incomes it can be easier
to find work, but for those less qualified it is more difficult. The more vulnerable you are, the more
vulnerable you become … Our main message is to assess your finances.” She also urged people
to think about what skills they can offer to employers: “People in their 60s have a wealth of life
experience, a consultancy or advisory role could also be an option. Otherwise, it is not too late to
With reference to the survey’s findings, Vince Smith Hughes, head of business development for
Prudential, said: “The only realistic option for those who want to avoid having to delay their planned
retirement is to start saving as much as they can as early as they can. Seeking professional financial
advice is a prerequisite to securing the retirement income that people need, and we recommend
that those who are approaching their planned retirement age should speak to a financial adviser on
at least an annual basis.”