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Nearly half of over 55s not prepared for retirement

Written by: Emma Lunn
Research from Close Brothers found a lack of preparation for retirement is causing concern to employees.

The Close Brothers Financial Wellbeing Index, developed in conjunction with wellbeing expert Professor Sir Cary Cooper, found 46 per cent of UK workers aged 55 and over don’t feel prepared for retirement.

Almost a third (31 per cent) admitted that funding their retirement is one of their top three money worries. This figure rises to 45 per cent of those aged 55 and over, but falls to 19 per cent for millennials.

Gender is also a notable factor when it comes to retirement preparations. Women are struggling more than their male counterparts, with around three-quarters (74 per cent) of women saying they don’t feel prepared for retirement compared to just half (54 per cent) of men.

To make matters worse, 41 per cent of women feel unconfident they will be able to retire at the age they want to, versus 23 per cent of men.

The study found that about a third (32 per cent) of those aged 55 or over think they will need to work in retirement to supplement their income compared to one in five (20 per cent) millennials.

About one in six (16 per cent) of all employees expect to rely on inheritance to supply their retirement fund, while a further 15 per cent plan to downsize their home.

Jeanette Makings, head of financial education at Close Brothers, said: “It is worrying that so many employees approaching retirement feel anxious and unprepared. This not only impacts their own financial health but also has a knock on effect on the workplace, with people deferring retirement, increased people costs and blocked succession pathways. To support individuals in feeling able to retire when they want, organisations can engage all staff with planning for retirement throughout their career, and not just in the final countdown years.”

Professor Sir Cary Cooper, a workplace wellbeing expert at the University of Manchester, said: “The report has produced astonishing findings, and it is absolutely necessary for employees to start planning for their retirement early. Reviewing how much you are saving into your pension a few times a year can go a long way. When you keep track and know how much you are putting away, you can make necessary changes where needed and feel more relaxed and confident about approaching retirement.”

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