Britain's 'grey consumers' underprepared for retirement

07 April 2005
According to new research, a significant number of 'grey consumers' - Britons aged over 45 - could be facing poverty in retirement through a lack of financial preparation.

The report by market research company Mintel has found that only 52 per cent of 45 - 54 year olds and less than half of those aged 55 to 64 are currently contributing to a pension product.

Even those who are thinking ahead and setting aside a monthly sum are not necessarily saving enough - the research found that 60 per cent of workers aged 45 to 54 were making monthly contributions, but almost half of them were setting aside less than £100.

"The notion that so many people of this age are not making proper retirement provisions is clearly alarming and it implies that these people are at risk of spending their retirement in poverty," comments Ian Stewart, senior finance analyst at Mintel.

"Time is running out for these consumers, and they seriously need to consider how they plan to fund their retirement."

Many of the grey consumers surveyed who were saving for their retirement have eschewed traditional pension plans for savings and investment products and property.

Fifty-four per cent of 45 to 54 year olds said they felt happier investing in bricks and mortar than in savings products - despite signs of a slowdown in the property market.

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