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Attitudes to pensions

Women in care home
Researchers: Liz Clery, Alun Humphrey
Published: January 2010


We wanted to find out about people’s attitudes to pensions and their expectations for retirement in Great Britain and how these are changing over time.


69% thought that they should save money for retirement, however over half (51%) of those surveyed also said that they could not afford to do so at the moment.

The numbers of people who view pensions as the most secure way of saving for retirement has declined by 16% since 2006. Just under half (47%) viewed pensions as the most secure way to invest, a decline from the 63% who thought this in 2006.

Only a minority (10%) agreed with the statement that it was not worth saving for a future because they might not live that long, and a further 18% thought retirement too far off to worry about.

67% said that they had sought information about financial products and services; but only 36% felt they had a good or reasonable understanding of pension issues.

65% of those surveyed preferred an earlier retirement age than their estimated State Pension Age. This suggests that expectations regarding retirement age are strongly linked to the traditional State Pension Age (65 for men and 60 for women).

41% of those over 50 said that they wanted to continue working after 65, but only 10% of respondents had put plans in place to make this happen.


Face to face interviews lasting an average of 45 minutes were carried out in autumn 2009. A total of 1,654 adults aged between 18 and 69 took part in the survey. 

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