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Brits have more faith in property than pensions to grow retirement fund

Written by: Samantha Partington
Brits have more faith in the power of property to generate money for their retirement than their pensions, figures from the Office of National Statistics show.

Some 43 per cent of people aged between 16 to retirement said property would make the most of their money by the time they stopped working, compared to 27 per cent who thought a workplace pension would make them better off.

Younger age groups have the most faith in bricks and mortar to grow their cash with 47 per cent of adults between the ages of 35 and 44, and 46 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds choosing property over pensions.

Homeowners in the East of England and South West were the most confident that property would give them the best retirement wealth, while Scotland and the North East were the regions that had the least faith their investment in property would provide for them when they had given up work.

Downsizing preferred to borrowing

The findings, which were revealed in the ONS Wealth and Assets survey, uncovered people’s attitudes towards saving for their retirement.

Close to a quarter of those surveyed said they expected to downsize to a less expensive house to provide money for their retirement and just two per cent said they borrow against the value of their homes to support themselves in later life.

The majority said their state pension would be their largest source of retirement income followed by private pensions, at 86 per cent and 69 per cent respectively.

When asked which was the safest way to save money to live on after giving up work, the majority of people chose their workplace pension. But when broken down by the type of work, self employed people saw property as a safer way to save than a private pension.

Helen Morrissey, pension spokesperson at Royal London, said: “While property has its place in a retirement planning strategy, care must be taken not to be overly reliant on any one asset as if prices fall then retirement plans can unravel.

“Boosting pension participation among the self employed is vital and yet they remain frozen out of auto-enrolment – a policy that has boosted the retirement prospects of millions. This is something government must review urgently.”

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