A quarter of Brits say they are willing to protest if the Government looks to raise the national retirement age, according to new research by pensions expert, Penfold.
A survey of 2,000 British workers, commissioned by Penfold, found that over two-thirds (67 per cent) of respondents disagree with the Government’s plans to raise the retirement age, with one in four willing to take action and walk out.
This research comes off the back of the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) latest report on pensions, which suggests the state pension age would need to increase from 66 to 70 by 2050.
The current share of adults aged over the state pension age is 24 per cent, but the UK’s population is forecast to age by 2050, increasing the proportion of pensioners in the population to 30%, and putting additional pressure on the pensions system.
Surprisingly, Gen Z (aged 18-24) are most likely to support the rise in the pension age, with one in four voicing their support for the plan, compared to only 16 per cent of those approaching retirement, aged 55-64.
That said, it was the younger generation that was most willing to pick up their placard, with 28 percent of Gen Z and Millennials (18-34 year-olds) saying they would protest the rising retirement age. In comparison, a third of Brits over the age of 55 said they would be unhappy about the proposed changes, but wouldn’t be willing to do anything about it.
And whilst the Conservative Government’s approval ratings seem to be on a slight incline with Rishi Sunak at the helm, it was revealed that they are at risk of losing voters over this latest decision, as one in five Brits say they would vote for a different party if the pension age is raised.
Chris Eastwood, co-founder of Penfold, said that whilst increasing the state pension age may be unavoidable, more education is needed on other ways to get ready for retirement:
“An increase in the state pension age is worrying but arguably unavoidable if we don’t want to burden younger generations with high taxes to meet the demands of an ageing population. That said, the increase should only affect the state pension and so those already saving into a workplace or private pension will still be able to access their savings at an earlier age (currently 55, but potentially rising to 57).
Sadly, understanding and knowledge of pensions and how to get the best out of them is shockingly low in this country and more needs to be done by the industry to educate savers on the many options available when it comes to securing a comfortable future.
We strongly encourage those concerned by the changes to state pension age to do their research, talk to their employer or consult a financial adviser to get a clearer understanding of their options. Starting the planning process early will pay dividends when you’re ready to start enjoying life after work.”
This issue is not limited to the UK, however, and Brits’ opinions on pension reforms remain consistent with their French counterparts. 62 per cent of UK employees support the protesters in France objecting to the retirement age being raised to 64.
The UK is again divided by age on the topic of international pension reform. The young are most aligned with the protests in France, with three-quarters of respondents aged 18-34 voicing their support for the protestors, while 72 per cent of those aged above 65 agree with the French government’s plans.
Britain reportedly has the 10th best pension system in the world (Mercer, 2022), yet Penfold’s research shows 64 per cent of Brits do not feel confident about their retirement plans.
With so much global uncertainty surrounding retirement, it has never been more important for Brits to set themselves up now for a comfortable retirement in the future. Penfold recommends that Brits start saving as early as possible and adjust their pension contributions as their circumstances allow.
For more information and advice on pensions, visit https://getpenfold.com.