Concerns grow as research reveals 'terrifying truth' on pension preparedness

Berkshire and Buckinghamshire residents are most prepared for retirement, despite only 52.3 per cent of residents being on track for a moderate income, the Hargreaves Lansdown Savings and Resilience barometer has revealed.

The research showed that around 50.6 per cent of residents in Surrey, East and West Sussex were on track for a moderate retirement income, defined by the PLSA as around £20,800 per year for a single person and £30,600 per year for a couple.

In addition to this, around 50 per cent of those in North East Scotland were on track for a moderate income, while North Yorkshire was identified as the best prepared area in the north, as 43.2 per cent of residents are on track for a moderate retirement income.

However, Hargreaves Lansdown noted that no northern or midland areas of England featured in the top ten rankings of most prepared areas.

In particular, the West-Midlands was identified as the biggest pension problem, as only 28.9 per cent of residents were on track for a moderate retirement income, followed by 31.8 per cent in Shropshire and Staffordshire.

Some southern areas were also lagging behind, as only 32 per cent of outer London: East and North-East residents were on track for a moderate retirement income.

Commenting on the findings, Hargreaves Lansdown senior pensions and retirement analyst, Helen Morrissey, suggested that whilst the South-East and Scotland "rule the roost" when it comes to retirement resilience, "even here the terrifying truth is only half of people are on track for a moderate retirement income".

She continued: “This is not so much a pension hot spot – more of a damp squib and shows that even people in the most affluent of areas are not getting to grips with their retirement planning.

“There were no northern or midlands areas even approaching the top ten with only North Yorkshire and Cheshire getting anywhere close. The midlands has a real problem with only around a third on track for a moderate retirement income.

“It is tempting to delay planning for retirement particularly in the current environment where the cost-of-living squeeze is putting pressure on everyone’s finances. However, not getting to grips with it risks leaving you seriously short of cash in later life.

“While budgets are tight it is important to only cut or stop contributions as a last resort. If you find that you really must cut back on pension provision be sure to increase it again as soon as possible to safeguard your future retirement income.”

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