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Saving in UK rising, but a quarter still saving nothing

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The UK is fast becoming a nation of savers, with almost three quarters (74 per cent) saying they are currently saving, according to research issued today by Scottish Widows.

The study found that the proportion of people who save in the UK was up to 74 per cent from 63 per cent in 2010; the rise of savers during the intervening five years was steady. The average amount held as savings now stands at £32,407, compared to £30,175 last year (a 7 per cent rise). The table below illustrates the increase.


The number of consumers not saving has also progressively declined in the past five years, However, the findings indicate that a significant proportion of UK residents neglect to save, or save insufficiently. A quarter (26 per cent) save nothing at present, a third (33 per cent) believed they were not saving enough for the long-term, and 32 per cent haven’t saved at any point during the last year. A fifth (18 per cent) have no savings at all. A failure to save was most evident among 45-54s; a third (33 per cent) of this group do not save for the future.

A number of explanations were offered for not saving. Almost half (42 per cent) said they did not know how to save or invest; 23 per cent said they would be inclined to save more if savings options were better publicised and easier to comprehend.

“It has been a watershed year in the savings landscape, and the study reflects to some extent the effect that landmark changes have had on people’s mind set,” said David Lascelles of Scottish Widows. “Greater flexibility on vehicles including ISAs and pensions as well as reforms as to how savings can be passed on provide more incentives to put money away for the longer term.”

“The increase in the number of long-term savers suggests more people understand the need to prepare for their financial future, but plugging the knowledge gap will help ensure that people can access the information they need to make the right choices.”


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