'Action needed’ to ensure 18 million unprepared people have an adequate retirement

A total of 18 million people are not adequately preparing financially for their later life, a new study published by Phoenix Insights has warned.

The report, A Crisis of Confidence, found that nearly half the population were not confident about their ability to save enough for retirement, largely due to money pressures elsewhere.

Phoenix Insight’s findings included two in five of ‘worried’ people saying they could not afford to put aside enough money for older age, while one in five stated that paying off debts was preventing them from saving.

The research also suggested the saving gaps will lead to greater demands being put on family members and a greater need for jobs in later life to plug holes.

However, one in four people were not confident in their ability to secure work and were concerned factors like ill health, discrimination or not having the right skills would stop them from earning and saving what they need for retirement.

The study comes as an additional new poll commissioned by Phoenix Insights, part of Phoenix Group, revealed over two in five (41 per cent) adults expected to use some or all of their savings to cover the cost-of living crisis, while 14 per cent had no savings to use at all.

Phoenix Insights warned that action must be taken now to address the nation’s unpreparedness for living longer or millions may face serious challenges later in life that will only be exacerbated by the current cost-of living pressures that will have a significant long-term impact on individuals.

Phoenix Insights director, Catherine Foot, commented: “Living longer is one of the greatest gifts of the 21st century and we all want to make the most of it. But our report reveals it’s a serious fear for nearly half of us.

“Millions of people are concerned they may be unable to support themselves financially in later life and are not confident they can act now to improve their financial future. This could leave millions of people facing serious challenges later in life.

“Part of the problem is that we still seem to be living with a mid-20th century model of life, yet so much has changed. Many of us in the UK will spend a third or even more of our adult life over the age of 65 – but it’s going to be hard for lots of us to sustain what could be a 30-year retirement or more from only 40 years of working.

“Though government is facing many other pressures and priorities today, there is no doubt we need to act now to support people to save more and to stay in the workforce if they need to. We all need to come together to radically reimage our approach to work, training, housing and how we tackle health inequalities.”

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