State pension is the only retirement income for many

State pension is the only retirement income for many

03 July 2010 / by Lois Avery

Pension savings are being ignored entirely by a third of pensioners as statistics reveal that some are relying solely on the state to fund their retirement.

The Office for National Statistics has released figures showing that 31 per cent of pensioners have no provision for retirement other than what their state pension offers.

The full report was published on Friday and tracked pension trends up until 2008, covering the last 40 years.

It also revealed that people in the UK were saving less than at any time in the past 40 years. And it showed that in 2008, 59 per cent of those asked in the UK said it was up to the government to make sure those in old age had enough to live on.

The need to save for retirement has been highlighted more than ever during the past month following the Government’s promise to reform the pension system as part of their Emergency Budget measures.

Part of their proposals include raising the default retirement age and the state pension age, meaning people will need to save in order to bridge the gap if they retire early.

Worrying figures show that an average couple would need half a million pounds to fund a 20 year retirement comfortably.

But the ONS statistics show that there is a huge shortfall in the UK’s pension savings, meaning more will be relying on the government funded state pension.

Speaking about the Government’s pension reforms Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith said: "Britain used to have a pensions system to be proud of, but due to years of neglect and inaction we are left with fewer people saving into a pension every year and the value of the State Pension has been eroded, leaving millions in poverty. We must live up to our responsibility to reinvigorate the pension landscape.

"People are living longer and healthier lives than ever, and the last thing we want is to lose their talent and enthusiasm from the workplace due to an arbitrary age limit.”

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