Half of UK adults want to retire by age 61

19 January 2017

According to a survey of 2000 adults by NOW Pensions, nearly half of UK adults who have not yet retired, want to retire by the time they are 61, with one in two happy to save more into their workplace pension to do so.

John Cridland, CBE was appointed as the government’s independent reviewer of the State Pension age in March 2016, and will deliver his final recommendations this year. However, the findings from NOW: Pensions, challenges the assertion in the Cridland Consultation that Fuller Working Lives and a later State Pension age are the answer to increasing longevity.

The research found that:

  • On average people want to retire at 61 but financially don’t think they’ll be able to until they’re 64.
  • Of those who want to retire at 61, when asked why:
    • 69% said they want to finish work when they’re still healthy enough to enjoy themselves;
    • 31% think they’ll be tired of work by this time and won’t feel motivated to continue working;
    • 19% want to stop working at this age to help care for grandchildren;
    • 9% want to care for their elderly parents;
    • 18% don’t think they will physically be able to work beyond this age;
  • Two in five (41%) don’t want to work in later life but financially think they’ll have to.
  • 28% are happy to work but want to be able to work part time / flexibly.

Adrian Boulding, Director of Policy at NOW: Pensions, comments: “Whilst obviously life expectancy is increasing and we can look forward to a long retirement, our research shows that people would like to be able to retire whilst they are still healthy enough to enjoy themselves. It’s clear that some people are realising that what they want and what they can afford are two different things”.

Boulding concluded: “If people are going to use their auto-enrolment pension pots to bridge the gap between early retirement and State Pension age, then they are going to have to pay more into them first. The increase in auto-enrolment contributions past 8% is something we’ve lobbied for a while, and we firmly believe that this is something that needs to be addressed in the imminent 2017 auto enrolment review.”