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Brits fear longer working lives

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09/04/2008

A global study into retirement by AXA has revealed that the majority of Brits anticipate further reforms to the public pension system over the next decade.

The fear is these reforms will mean they will have to work longer and retire on less state benefits.

The expectations of reform among UK workers, 68%, is broadly in line with the international average of 66% with over half of those already retired also predicting retirement reforms in the next decade.

Among those UK workers who feel retirement reform is inevitable, 91% believe it will mean an increase in the number of years they have to work.

The UK has one of the strongest expectations of an increase in working years, along with France (89%) and Japan (88%).

In addition, seven in 10 say that reform is likely to reduce public pension benefits. This is higher than the international average (57%) but lower than Japan (94%) and Germany (87%). Workers in China (15%) are least likely to anticipate a reduction in state pension benefits. AXA’s study also reveals that a third of working Brits and a fifth of retired Brits believe social security is in crisis.

Steve Folkard, head of pensions and savings policy at AXA, said: “Some people have negative thoughts of retirement and it is not surprising that feelings of trepidation are heightened in the current financial climate.

“The research shows that a significant number of people are sure that retirement reform will lead to reduced public pension benefit and with this in mind, we would advise people to take steps as early as possible to secure their own retirement income. Although the majority of retirees say that their retirement income is sufficient, people still in work should be aware that having a happy and prosperous retirement costs money, so it’s vital they plan ahead.”

 

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