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Inadequate pension savings increase concerns

19 August 2009 / by Andy Davies

There are concerns amongst independent financial advisers that their clients are not saving enough for retirement.

According to research carried out by AXA Winterthur Wealth Management, 79 per cent of IFAs do not believe their clients will have sufficient funds for their retirement.

The current state pension, depending on individual circumstances, is £95.25 for a single person a week and £152.30 for a couple a week.   

AXA believes that with life expectancy increasing and people having to rely on their pensions for 20 to 30 years, the only way to have enough money for retirement is to invest in a private pension plan.

Reacting to this news, Mike Morrison, head of pensions development at AXA Winterthur Wealth Management, said: "There is a definite need to encourage a saving culture within the UK, but it is difficult when the goalposts keep moving.

"With the introduction of the annual allowance, I am sure there were many people who planned decent sized pension contributions say in the last ten years before retirement."

However, Mr Morrison said that these plans have been affected by the HMRC rules on anti-forestalling, which now means in most circumstances, a contribution of £20,000 will get full tax relief, with their income taxed at 40 per cent.

AXA's figures also shows that in addition to 79 per cent not saving enough, 21 per cent of clients are struggling to understand the idea of risk, reward and volatility, while 14 per cent are over cautious in their early savings years.

Mr Morrison added: "People need to be able to look ahead and plan effectively with certainty. I don't think a lot of people realise just how long their retirement can last.

"We are all living longer, and most of us would like to at least maintain our current lifestyle. The only way to do that is to start saving and keep saving."

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