New study shows 70% of Brits want the retirement age in the UK to be lowered

by | Sep 3, 2023

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  • A new survey by Investing Reviews has revealed the UK’s sentiment around pensions and retirement. 
  • 70% of respondents believe it’s harder to retire comfortably in the UK today than ever before. 
  • 78% of respondents also believe the retirement age in the UK should be lowered, whilst 42% of Brits would prefer to leave the UK and live abroad for their retirement. 

A new survey has revealed the UK’s sentiment regarding pensions and retirement. 

The survey, conducted by investment comparison site Investing Reviews, asked over 2,000 users their opinions and attitudes towards retirement, pensions and investments to better understand the nations sentiment around said topics. 

Interestingly, as tensions in France continue to rise over the raising of the retirement age from 62 to 64, UK sentiment regarding retirement ages doesn’t seem to differ much from the French. In the survey, 68.71% of respondents believe that the UK retirement age (which currently stands at 66) should be lowered. This sentiment also comes alongside 71.16% of respondents believing that it is harder to retire in the UK now than ever before.  

 
 

However, this seems to be easier said than done according to the survey by Investing Reviews. In fact, 62.60% of respondents believe that their pension is simply not enough to retire comfortably, citing that they believe they will need additional investments alongside their pension. This may be due to the fact that over half of respondents (55.82%) agree that they are unable to make as many pension contributions as they would like to. 

When it comes to employer contributions, well over a third (42.66%) of respondents would consider working in an entirely different sector to their current career if it meant greater employer contributions. In a previous study by Investing Reviews that analysed official government data from ONS, working in ‘public administration and defence (including compulsory social security)’ is the sector that have the highest percentage of employers contributing 20% or more to employees’ pension whilst employers in the ‘wholesale and retail trade (including motor vehicles and motorcycle repair)’ have the lowest percentage of employer contributions of 20% or more at only 1.3%.  

What is particularly interesting is that over a third (34.93%) of respondents revealed that they do not know exactly how much money is in their pension, whilst again, over a third of respondents believe they will not be able to retire comfortably in the UK.  

 
 

This sentiment around the difficulty of retiring comfortably in the UK and the frustration at not being able to contribute as much to their pensions as they’d like are echoed in respondents answers to the question “If I was able to, I would choose to retire outside of the UK” wherein 42.66% of respondents agreed – raising questions over the increasing rate of inflation and cost-of-living that is perhaps not something that those looking to retire, are able to keep up with if they remain in the UK. 

Commenting on the findings, CEO of Investing Reviews, Simon Jones said: “There are endless debates to be had regarding the UK retirement age and the state of pensions, especially considering the recent rise in retirement age in France and the backlash that received. These responses offer a fascinating insight into the attitudes that the British public hold towards pensions and retirement ages, particularly the sentiment that it is now harder to retire comfortably than ever before. It will be interesting to see if factors such as the backlash in France to the rise in the retirement age and the increasing difficulty of the cost-of-living crisis have any effect on these sentiments in the future.” 

Please find the full responses below: 
 
Q1. To what extent, if at all, do you agree or disagree with the following statement? My employer has discussed my pension options with me in detail 

 
 
Agree (net) 29.04% 
Strongly agree 10.43% 
Somewhat agree 18.61% 
Neither agree nor disagree 17.17% 
Somewhat disagree 11.78% 
Strongly disagree 15.62% 
Disagree (net) 27.40% 
N/A – I do not have a job or an employer 26.40% 

Q2. To what extent, if at all, do you agree or disagree with the following statement? I believe I will be able to retire comfortably 

Agree (net) 28.79% 
Strongly agree 7.68% 
Somewhat agree 21.11% 
Neither agree nor disagree 23.45% 
Somewhat disagree 16.97% 
Strongly disagree 16.27% 
Disagree (net) 33.23% 
N/A – I do not plan to retire 3.64% 
N/A – I am already retired 10.88% 

Q3. How satisfied or unsatisfied are you with your employer’s pension contribution? 

Satisfied (net) 53.22% 
Very satisfied 16.47% 
Somewhat satisfied 36.75% 
Neither satisfied nor unsatisfied 32.20% 
Somewhat unsatisfied 12.27% 
Very unsatisfied 2.31% 
Unsatisfied (net) 14.58% 

Q4. To what extent, if at all, do you agree or disagree with the following statement? I would consider working in a different sector if it meant greater employer pension contributions 

 
 
Agree (net) 42.66% 
Strongly agree 14.27% 
Somewhat agree 28.39% 
Neither agree nor disagree 24.20% 
Somewhat disagree 9.58% 
Strongly disagree 4.44% 
Disagree (net) 14.02% 
Not applicable 19.11% 

Q5. To what extent, if at all, do you agree or disagree with the following statement? If I was able to, I would choose to retire outside of the UK 

Agree (net) 42.62% 
Strongly agree 17.45% 
Somewhat agree 25.17% 
Neither agree nor disagree 22.22% 
Somewhat disagree 12.33% 
Strongly disagree 17.24% 
Disagree (net) 29.57% 
Unsure 5.59% 

Q6. To what extent, if at all, do you agree or disagree with the following statement? It is harder to retire comfortably now than ever before 

Agree (net) 71.16% 
Strongly agree 37.18% 
Somewhat agree 33.98% 
Neither agree nor disagree 17.27% 
Somewhat disagree 5.29% 
Strongly disagree 1.70% 
Disagree (net) 6.99% 
Unsure 4.59% 

Q7. To what extent, if at all, do you agree or disagree with the following statement? I believe the retirement age in the UK should be lowered 

 
 
Agree (net) 68.71% 
Strongly agree 37.08% 
Somewhat agree 31.64% 
Neither agree nor disagree 20.51% 
Somewhat disagree 7.34% 
Strongly disagree 3.44% 
Disagree (net) 10.78% 

Q8. Do you know how much is in your pension? 

Yes (net) 47.85% 
Yes, I know exactly how much is in my pension 18.66% 
Yes, I know roughly how much is in my pension 29.19% 
No 34.93% 
N/A – I do not have a pension 17.22% 

Q9. To what extent, if at all, do you agree or disagree with the following statement? I will need to have other investments besides my pension in order to retire comfortably 

Agree (net) 62.60% 
Strongly agree 27.72% 
Somewhat agree 34.88% 
Neither agree nor disagree 17.25% 
Somewhat disagree 5.77% 
Strongly disagree 2.18% 
Disagree (net) 7.95% 
Unsure 5.66% 
Not applicable 6.55% 

Q10. To what extent, if at all, do you agree or disagree with the following statement? I am unable to make greater contributions to my pension than I would like to 

 
 
Agree (net) 55.82% 
Strongly agree 23.93% 
Somewhat agree 31.89% 
Neither agree nor disagree 21.64% 
Somewhat disagree 7.17% 
Strongly disagree 4.04% 
Disagree (net) 11.21% 
Not applicable 11.33% 

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