Tag Archives: pension


Standard Life Launches Ground-Breaking Corporate Investment Range

Standard Life has launched a new range of investments for corporate pension schemes aimed at making it easier for employees to select an investment strategy to suit their individual needs and attitude to risk.

The two new risk-based fund ranges, built on the success of MyFolio, are specifically tailored for the corporate pensions market and introduce new auto-enrolment default options, addressing the challenge of meeting the diverse needs of a workforce

Ann Flynn, Head of Corporate Marketing said: “Over the past two years we have been conducting extensive research with advisers, employers and employees. The employee’s investment choice, and lack of engagement in it, has been an issue the industry has been wrestling with for many years.

“The majority of employees are invested in the default fund and that’s why default strategy needs to be able to meet the diverse needs of a workforce. We’re now excited to be launching a range of investment solutions which addresses this challenge head on.”

Key findings of the research include:
– Employees find a wide range of investment choice confusing however there is still a demand to have some level of choice.
– Employees want a level of risk and return which is right for them but managed by experts.
– Employers simply want better outcomes for their employees within a strong governance framework, with competitive charging and minimal risk.

Flynn added: “Against a backdrop of negative pension stories and turbulent stock markets, employees tend to have a very low tolerance for taking investment risk with their pension and understandably so. However for many, a level of risk is needed to help generate the returns to achieve a decent standard of living in retirement.

“Our new range will help employees identify their attitude to risk through a simple questionnaire and align themselves to a strategy that best fits their needs. The information will be presented in a way that keeps it simple and shows them at a high level what they are investing in. However, they will also be able to ‘look under the bonnet’ if they want to. The risk-based range will be dynamically managed by internal and external experts who will monitor and adjust asset allocation to optimise performance.”

Key features and benefits of the range include two new risk-based ranges, Passive Plus and Active Plus, specifically for the corporate pensions market to complement the MyFolio Managed funds. A new life styling approach allows the underlying funds to be changed as necessary to help future-proof the investments while the Vanguard index-tracking funds, added in December 2011, will complement the BlackRock index-tracking range.

Employees will be able to easily identify their risk appetite and select an investment strategy to meet their needs and risk-based funds will be actively managed to help optimise returns. Moreover, employees will be offered clear options, based on how ‘hands on’ or ‘hands off’ they want to be with their investment selection and the new range provides employers and trustees with the flexibility to support a broad demographic. Advisers will also be able to recommend from an ‘off the shelf’ package of investment funds or design bespoke solutions for their clients.

Via EPR Network
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Prudential Reveals Research On The Importance Of Women’s Retirement Plans

Prudential has revealed that nearly half (46 per cent) of women over the age of 40 who live with a partner have no pension of their own, according to new research into couples’ attitudes to retirement.

The extent of women’s reliance on a partner’s pension and the State is not the only shock finding from the research, which also highlights that many UK couples could be sleep-walking into retirement poverty as they have no idea what pension income they will need to live on.

More than half (56 per cent) of couples aged over 40 have not worked out how much money they will need to live on in retirement, with two in five (40 per cent) admitting to having no financial plans in place for life after work.

British couples also seem reluctant to discuss with each other the finances that will support them in later life. One in five couples (20 per cent) admit to never having discussed joint retirement financial planning, while only half of those who have already retired made a joint decision about the annuity they bought.

Vince Smith-Hughes, head of business development at Prudential, said: “Pensions may not seem like the most exciting topic for a couple in their forties to be discussing, but couples who have not put time aside to discuss their retirement income plans run the risk of spending their later lives worse off than they had expected.”

In regard to retirement planning, Smith-Hughes stressed how important it is for women to discuss their future finances with their partner, and preferably with a financial adviser too. According to Smith-Hughes, women who don’t engage in these discussions could find themselves in financial trouble, especially if they outlive their loved one.

Smith-Hughes continued: “People may feel they can’t afford to significantly boost their retirement savings in the current financial climate, but taking even the smallest of steps can have a positive impact. Joining a workplace pension scheme, considering a joint life annuity, so the income will continue after one partner dies, and topping up National Insurance contributions are all options which can increase income in retirement. These crucial issues should be discussed between couples and, in turn, with their financial advisers.”

Via EPR Network
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Standard Life Announces That Economic Climate Could Force Retirement Rethink

Standard Life, the savings and investment specialist, has published new insight that suggests that the UK could be heading towards a perfect retirement storm; one in five (21%) of 45-65 year-olds who have financial plans in place to provide for their long term future no longer feel that their financial plans will support them into the future. Six per cent in this age group who aren’t already retired don’t think they will ever be able to retire, equating to over three quarters of a million people.

Of those who have financial plans in place to provide for their long term future, 64% of 45-65s feel confident that their financial plans will support their future post retirement. Twenty-one per cent of these adults no longer feel their plans will support them into the future, with a further 10% having never felt confident. Thirty-seven per cent of 45-65s have no financial plans in place for their long-term future; yet 72% of people currently aged between 45 and 65 who aren’t retired think they will retire between 61 and 70 years old.

John Lawson, Head of Pensions Policy at Standard Life said: “The current financial crisis has brought into sharp focus the need to make and review appropriate plans. This will clearly be challenging but there are many things you can do to make your retirement years as secure as possible.”

As part of the Changing Face of Retirement research, Standard life has published a list of top tips to help people re-engage with their financial planning, which includes seeking professional advice, continually reviewing financial goals, making a clear plan, reviewing investments, considering deferment of the state pension and increasing savings. Also included in Standard Life’s top tips is to claim tax-relief, as Standard Life estimates that 300,000 people are not claiming this currently.

Via EPR Network
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Standard Life Reveals Financial Commitments As Significant As Key Emotional Relationships

Financial commitments are as significant as key emotional relationships for people in the UK, according to research from Standard Life. It found that many would liken the majority of their regular financial commitments to the kind of relationship they have with their partner or spouse. Over three quarters (81%) of people paying into a pension view their relationship with their pension in this way and almost half (47%) of gym-goers liken their membership to a ‘husband or wife’ relationship too.

Standard Life’s full ‘Your Commitments, Your Future‘ report can be found at www.knowyourcommitments.co.uk and defines how financial and relationship commitments change during a lifetime. It also investigates the different attitudes people have to different kinds of commitments. It found that while most consider their regular financial commitments, such as paying bills or contributing to a pension, to be significant, on average people spend much more time thinking about their relationship commitments instead.

Other findings include:
– Over three quarters of men (77%) who pay a mortgage are most likely to liken the relationship to the same as with a spouse, rising to four out of five women (83%).
– Three in five men (59%) who have paid-for TV admit that they view their subscription as most like a ‘husband and wife’ relationship.
– While the longest relationship people in the UK have tends to be with a partner or spouse, their longest financial commitment is held for just two years less on average over their lifetime.
– The longest relationship for adults aged 18 to 24 is with a financial product, (two years and ten months, six months more than their longest relationship with a partner).
– Men and women who have a partner spend just 50 minutes a day thinking about their partner and just over half an hour (37 minutes) a day thinking about the financial commitments we listed.

John Lawson from Standard Life commented: “Our financial and relationship commitments change throughout our life and understanding how they are linked is essential when planning for the future. Our research found that although our financial commitments are significant, we devote less time and attention to them than our emotional relationships.

” We’ve identified three core commitment life stages, so people can see where they are in the financial and emotional commitment cycle. In that way, they are in a better place to plan their finances for the future and feel confident about what lies ahead.”

Psychologist Professor Janet Reibstein who worked with Standard Life on the report said: “An interesting aspect of this research is that people regard financial and emotional commitments as separate entities to be treated differently. Yet if people understand that financial and emotional commitments are linked, then they will be able to align their commitments with their aspirations.”

Via EPR Network
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Standard Life Reveals Commitment Peak Begins At 35 For Average Person In The UK

Standard Life has published ‘Your Commitments, Your Future’, a study developed with psychologist Professor Janet Reibstein into the nature of commitment. It reveals that financial and emotional commitments peak between 35-44 years of age when people spend on average £1,160 a month on financial commitments and think about them for 45 minutes every day.

The research reveals that during a lifetime, the average person spends £914 a month on financial commitments and 37 minutes thinking about them everyday. In contrast, they spend £87 a month on emotional commitments, thinking about them for 2 hours, 18 minutes every day.

According to the Standard Life study there are three core commitment life stages with transition phases in between:

– Commitment Sleepwalkers (18-24) who have a smaller amount of financial and personal relationship commitments. Their regular financial commitments amount to just £458 a month. They spend the least amount of time thinking about their finances so are at risk of overlooking the long term cumulative affects of these costs.

– The Fully Committed (35-44) who are at the peak of their regular financial commitments, spending an average of £1,160 each month and likely to be paying a mortgage, looking after a child and paying off any debt accrued in earlier life.

– Commitment Slowdowns (55+) who are starting to become less financially and emotionally committed. They are spending £818 on their commitments each month, almost £100 less that the average.

Commenting on the research findings, Professor Reibstein said: “‘Your Commitments, Your Future’ shows a discrepancy in how much attention we devote to our financial and emotional commitments. We spend over two hours a day thinking about emotional commitments, but just 37 minutes on our financial commitments.

“People consider financial commitments as something abstract, separate to their emotional life. But our finances underpin our most important relationships and often our ability to achieve our future goals. The Standard Life report makes it clear how vital it is for people to engage with their finances, their personal relationships and future aspirations as one single entity.”

Standard Life’s John Lawson added: “‘Your Commitments, Your Future’ breaks our commitments down into life stages, giving a clear picture of how our commitments change throughout our life. This understanding can help substantially with planning our personal finances so that we can feel confident about the future and achieve our goals. It’s clear that financial commitments can support our relationships – they underpin them. If people were to dedicate more time to their long term financial planning, they wouldn’t just be better off financially, they’re likely to be better off all round.”

The full ‘Your Commitments, Your Future’ report is available at knowyourcommitments.co.uk where people can also compare their financial and
emotional commitment profile by using an interactive tool and watch Professor Reibstein analysing commitment in more detail.

Via EPR Network
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Standard Life Reports Spain Tops Overseas Retirement Hotspots

Standard Life has revealed the top retirement hotspots outside the UK with the Spain at the top of the list, followed by Australia, USA, France and Ireland.

John Lawson, Head of Pensions Policy, Standard Life commented: “Retiring abroad is a dream for many people, but does require careful planning and advice. Many people think living abroad is cheaper than living in the UK, but this isn’t always the case. Doing your homework in advance of moving, matching your retirement income and expenditure, and making the appropriate decisions around purchasing an annuity or using income drawdown are key considerations. Your retirement income could also be subject to exchange rates and currency fluctuations, as well as local tax laws.

“You also need to think about your state pension and what, if any, reciprocal agreement is in place. A reciprocal agreement entitles you to any increases in the UK state pension paid for by the country you retire to. However, if there isn’t a reciprocal agreement in place, then you need to be very careful your retirement income is sufficient to cover your living costs over a long period of time. Over a 20 year retirement, your basic state UK pension could halve in real terms if a reciprocal arrangement is not in place.”

If an individual moves abroad permanently, any increases in their UK state pension will only apply if they are living in an EU country (including Gibraltar and Switzerland), or a country with a reciprocal social security agreement with the UK. Where the individual is living outside these countries, the amount of UK state pension they will receive each year is frozen at the amount initially paid when first claimed (or if the pensioner emigrated more than one year after payment began, at the rate in force when emigrating). Popular retirement countries outside these reciprocal agreements include Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.

Those who are considering retiring abroad in the future, but are wondering if their retirement savings will be sufficient can go to www.yourfuturemoney.co.uk, where they can check if their retirement planning is on track.

Via EPR Network
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Standard Life Reveals University Debt Headache For Parents

Standard Life has revealed that more than half of parents potentially underestimate the maximum amount of debt their child could leave university with.

When asked to take into account the increase in tuition fees to a maximum of £9,000 per year from 2012, and any other debts accumulated from living expenses, student loans, bank loans etc. 58 per cent of parents think the maximum debt their children could leave with is £40,000 or under, including many who think this would be a lot less. This total is well under the maximum figure of £54,000 calculated by the long-term savings and investment company Standard Life.

Despite this, a fifth (21 per cent) of parents have started to make regular savings to help ease the costs of their children’s university education, and nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of parents are putting money aside on special occasions (e.g. birthdays or one-off windfalls).

Julie Hutchison, head of technical insight at Standard Life, said: “The findings of our research are positive as they show that parents have identified the need to save for their children’s time at university. Unfortunately their expectations of what that cost could be and therefore the target amount they want to save might actually be too low.”

Parents who have longer to save are taking full advantage, as more than half of parents (55 per cent) with children aged 0 to 9 are putting money aside for their child’s university costs. Conversely seven out of ten (70 per cent) parents with children aged 14 to 17 aren’t doing the same.

Julie continued: “Attending University is of course a worthwhile pursuit but can be expensive with the costs of tuition fees, living costs and course material all adding up over the years. Even though a student loan can be taken to cover all these outgoings, parents can also seriously help reduce these costs.”

More than half (53 per cent) of parents who save on a regular basis are saving less than £50 a month towards their child’s university costs, 27% are saving £50 – £100, 7 per cent are saving £101 – £200 and 4 per cent of parents are saving more than £200.

Out of the 56 per cent of parents who are not saving for their children’s university costs, almost two-thirds (63 per cent) say they can’t afford to at the moment, with one in ten (10 per cent) having just not considered it.

The research also looked at the saving attitudes of grandparents of children under 18, with one in ten (9 per cent) saving for their grandchildren’s university education on a regular basis, 16 per cent on occasions and 2 per cent as a one-off lump sum. Of those not saving, a quarter (24 per cent) have just not considered it, with 15 per cent thinking the child’s parents are saving up sufficient funds.

Regionally parents in the Midlands are saving the most with 52 per cent putting money aside for their children’s university costs. It’s followed by London (48 per cent), Scotland (44 per cent), Southern England and East of England (both 42 per cent) with the North of England saving the least (39 per cent).

Via EPR Network
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Standard Life Reveals Brits Tend To Miss Bargain Investments

Standard Life has found that the majority of UK consumers can spot a good deal when it comes to a holiday, but are likely to miss out on a good deal when it comes to their finances.

In a UK wide consumer poll and prize draw in which 8,500 people took part Standard Life found that almost seven out of ten (70%) people would choose a holiday of a lifetime worth £5,000 even if they had to wait five years, rather than settle on a luxury short break this year worth £640*. £5,000 is how much a pension could be worth if £640 was invested into a pension plan each year for the next five years**.

The poll and prize draw, run by long term savings and investment provider Standard Life, highlighted that the UK public know how to spot a good deal when offered one and are willing to wait five years to make their holiday dreams come true. But this savvy forward looking culture is yet to filter through into finances, with almost half (45%) of Brits planning just one to 12 months ahead and a further one in six (17%) failing to make any financial plans at all, according to Standard Life’s research***.

Standard Life’s John Lawson said: “Consumers are keen to spot a good deal which is why voucher codes and group buying websites have become so popular. But many only apply this bargain hunt culture when buying goods, not when it comes to their financial planning. Consumers who take a short term view to their personal finances are likely to miss out on long term tax efficient products that offer far greater benefits than your standard savings account. For example, if you’re a lower rate tax payer and pay into a pension, the government gives you 20% extra on top straight
away in tax relief. That means a pension contribution of £100 a month is instantly worth £125 a month. People’s great bargain hunting skills are being wasted if they are not picking out these great investment deals.”

Via EPR Network
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Standard Life Reveals The Most Popular Retirement Top-Up Plans

Standard Life research* has revealed the most popular retirement top-up plans for people who have saved into a pension. Alongside using other investments (43%), nearly a quarter (24%) are expecting inheritance will help fund their retirement, while others are planning equity release on their main home (10%), using rental income / sale of a property (23%) or using a partner or spouse’s income (16%).

The research found that 7% of over-55s don’t plan to retire or have a pension plan, even though they had been saving into a pension. Using the state pension or other state benefits (76%) was the favoured choice of the majority of people. 23% of women are expecting to receive a retirement top-up from their spouse, while 13% of men make the same assumption.

John Lawson, head of pensions policy at Standard Life said: “Nearly half a million people in the UK over 55 are not planning to retire. This shows our attitudes towards retirement are changing, as people consider the implications of working and living longer than ever before. We know that many people want to continue working on their own terms, while some will want to start a new business or learn a new skill.

“Unfortunately, some may not have got their financial planning quite right. The realisation of reaching 65 and having to fund another 30 years in retirement has made them rethink their future plans.

“Relying on certain sources of income, for example an inheritance, could leave you short changed, so seeking the right financial advice early on and taking practical steps to ensure you don’t have all your eggs in one basket may prove a prudent move in later years.”

To help support people when making investment decisions, Standard Life has recently launched a range of investment funds, called MyFolio**. The MyFolio funds are a family of carefully constructed risk-based portfolios that offer clients a choice of active and passive investment strategies across five risk levels. Three styles are available to suit each clients’ investment philosophy: MyFolio Market Funds, Standard Life MyFolio Funds and MyFolio Multi-Manager Funds.

Via EPR Network
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Prudential Reveals Recession Delaying Retirement For Nearly 3 Million UK Adults

Prudential research* shows that nearly 3 million UK adults aged over 45** have delayed their plans to retire because of the recession or a personal financial emergency, or because they want to keep working to build a bigger pension pot.

Prudential’s survey shows 9% – more than 1.6 million people – have put their retirement plans on hold because of financial emergencies and the effects of the recession while 7% (nearly 1.3 million people) are giving up retirement plans in favour of working in an effort to boost pensions so they can retire at a later date.

More than 710,000 people – 24% who have delayed plans to retire – fear they will now never be able to afford to retire completely because the economic slowdown or their financial emergency has had such a devastating effect on their retirement savings, Prudential’s nationwide Class of 2010 study shows.

The recession has also forced 17% to delay retirement for at least five years, while a further 51% believe they will have to wait between 12 months and five years before they can stop working.

Prudential believes these figures should be considered a warning to people who are still in a position to save for their retirement and urges people to save as much as they can for their retirement and to put money aside to fall back on in the event of a financial emergency.

Martyn Bogira, Defined Contribution Solutions Director, said: “It is imperative for people to realise what’s at stake before they come to retire.

Via EPR Network
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Prudential Reports Pension Gap Between Men And Women Continues To Grow

According to new figures from the Prudential Class of 2010 retirement survey* women planning to retire in 2010 expect to receive an average annual pension of £12,169, while their male counterparts expect to collect an average pension of £19,593 – a pension gender gap of £7,424. And the pension income gender gap has widened by £782 since 2009 when the difference between men’s and women’s pensions was£6,642**.

The gap continues to grow despite a decrease in expected pension incomes as a whole over the last year. In 2009 men expected to collect an annual pension of £20,313 – down 3.5% to £19,593 for 2010 – while women expected to collect £13,671, down 11% to £12,169 for 2010.

The mean expected pension income for men and women is down from £17,779 in 2009 to £16,509 in 2010, a fall of £1,270, which equates to approximately £100 a month.

Karin Brown, director of pensions and annuities at Prudential, said: “The reason women appear to get less in their pensions than men is embedded in years of history and, to a certain extent, because some women take a career break to have children which has an impact.

“But there is plenty of scope for women who are working and contributing to a pension to help reduce this deficit in future. By talking to your employer you can find ways of boosting pension savings and maximising the tax advantages that pension savings can bring.”

Women who take a career break to have children can safeguard their state pension with home responsibilities protection but this must cover the full tax year from April to April, so July to July, for example, would not count. Women can also buy back any missing National Insurance contributions.

Karin Brown said: “Women could also consider trying to keep up any company or private pension contributions even if they are on maternity leave or an extended career break – or ask their spouse or partner to make contributions for them.”

32% of UK workers over 55 who said they were delaying plans to retire because of the economic slowdown and the falling value of investments or due to a financial emergency believe they will never be able to afford to retire completely.

Karin Brown continued: “Although many working people may not be able to remedy this situation at a late stage in their working lives, younger people do have a chance to start building a decent pension pot. Prudential believes people should, ideally, start saving for their retirement as early as their twenties or early thirties instead of putting off pension savings until later in life.”

Via EPR Network
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Prudential Warns Of Widespread Over-Reliance On State Pension

According to new research from Prudential, nearly a fifth (18%) of people planning to retire in 2010 will be retiring on the State Pension and savings.

Prudential Warns Of Widespread Over-Reliance On State Pension

But 31% of the people surveyed in Prudential’s nationwide Class of 2010 study either do not know how much the basic State Pension pays or over-estimate the individual weekly amount by £25 or more.

Prudential warns the basic State Pension alone may not provide sufficient retirement income for many and urges people who are still working to save as much as possible for their old age in company and personal pensions as well as savings and investments.

“Given that so many people expect to retire on the basic State Pension, particularly when only half know how much it pays, there is still a clear need for people to understand the consequences of not making adequate provision for their retirement,” said Martyn Bogira, Director of Defined Contribution Solutions at Prudential.

“If the basic State Pension is your only source of income you could be in an extremely precarious position financially. Just one significant financial emergency, like your central heating system unexpectedly breaking down, could cause serious financial hardship for people expecting to retire on the State Pension alone.

“On its own the basic State Pension, paying just under £5,000 a year, should only really be used to supplement other sources, such as income from a pension or an annuity.

“We would urge people to pay as much as they possibly can into their retirement savings, because the State alone is unlikely to be able to support you in your retirement. The sooner you start saving, either into a company pension, personal pension or other savings, the greater the amount of money you can build up to help provide for you when you do come to retire.”

Average expenditure in households headed by someone aged 65 to 74 was £321 a week, according to the most recent Office for National Statistics figures from 2007, and £218 a week for households headed by someone aged 75 or over, but today the basic State Pension for married couples lags behind this figure by paying £152.30 a week.

Via EPR Network
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Prudential Warns Of State Of Ignorance Over Retirement Age Rise

New research from Prudential shows that nearly half (47 per cent) of 45 to 49 year-olds and two-fifths (39 per cent) of 50 to 54 year-olds are unaware of the rise in the minimum retirement age from 50 to 55 which comes into effect on 6 April this year. The increase in the minimum retirement age could be a particular blow to people aged 50 to 55 who are planning to retire this year, Prudential warns.

Prudential is urging people who will be affected by the increase in minimum retirement age to speak to financial advisers and pension providers ahead of the 6 April deadline and stresses there is still time to act.

The new minimum retirement age – first announced by the Government in 2004 – will prevent many people aged between 50 and 55 from claiming private or company pension benefits and especially taking the tax-free cash element of their pension fund until they
are 55.

For those who had planned to retire at 50, the higher minimum age will mean five years without access to pension benefits or tax-free cash.

Prudential’s research has found that 6 per cent of the UK’s 3.9 million adults aged 50 to 54 – equivalent to more than 230,000 people – said they planned to retire in 2010.

Karin Brown, Director of Annuities at Prudential, said: “People who want to take their pension benefits and any tax-free cash allowance still have nearly three months to decide what they want to do.

“Prudential strongly urges people approaching retirement to contact a financial adviser or talk to their pension provider about the options available.

“The Government first announced the changes to the minimum retirement age nearly six years ago so there has been plenty of time for the news to sink in. It is worrying that so many are still unaware but there is time to act before rules change.”

The information contained in Prudential UK’s press releases is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions. Full consumer product information can be found at www.pru.co.uk.

Via EPR Network
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Workers Beyond Retirement Age To Double In 10 Years

Prudential has revealed that UK businesses are bracing themselves for a surge in staff looking to delay retirement with around 1.8 million people expected to be working beyond traditional retirement ages in just 10 years.

The findings from new research commissioned by Prudential among finance directors at UK businesses found 24% of companies expect staff to work beyond retirement age in the next 10 years, with the proportion of people in the workforce who are past traditional retirement ages expected to more than double to 1.8 million people.

Larger companies expect to see an even greater proportion of their workforce working beyond retirement, with 39% of finance directors at larger firms expecting to have to accommodate requests from staff to work longer.

UK companies anticipate this will mean around 6.3% of their workforce (equivalent to 1.8 million people across the UK working population) will be made up of people working beyond statutory retirement ages in 10 years, more than double the current proportion of 2.6% of company workers (equivalent to around 752,700 people***) who currently work past retirement.

The study also found that in the past 12 months alone, 7% of finance directors have reported an increase in the number of employees asking to work past traditional retirement ages.

Martyn Bogira, Prudential’s Director of Defined Contribution Solutions, said: “As health and longevity continue to improve and people look to fund a longer life in retirement, it is inevitable that compromises have to be made.

“The statutory retirement age for men and women is due to rise to 68 by 2046, so working longer will be a fact of life for those entering the workforce today but these findings suggest that increasing numbers of pensioners will be forced to work later far sooner than this. Employers have told us that their staff costs could rise as their employees work for longer.

“Workers face the stark choice of either having to save more for their pension from an earlier age or having to work longer if they are to avoid taking a significant drop in their standard of living in retirement. Early pension saving is critical and we strongly encourage people not to delay starting a pension.”

The research also identified a clear North/South divide. Companies in the north of the country expect an average of 16.2% of their staff to work past the statutory retirement age compared with an average of 2.4% in Greater London and the South East.

Via EPR Network
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Prudential Reports Strife Begins At 40 For Pensions Late Starters

Prudential has revealed that workers who don’t pay a penny into a pension until they reach the age of 40 may need to set aside upwards of 33 per cent of their salary until age 65 if they want to retire on the holy grail pension of two-thirds annual salary.

But for someone starting their pension at 30 the amount drops to 20.5 per cent of salary and at age 18 it falls to 12.9 per cent – just over a third of the amount a 40-year-old would be required to pay into a pension for the first time.

Based on the current average salary of £26,020 a 40-year-old worker starting their pension plan today and aiming to retire at 65 would need to put aside the equivalent of £728.06 a month, or £23.94 a day, from combined employee and employer contributions.

A 30-year-old worker’s pension savings would need to total £443.59 a month or£14.58 a day, while an 18-year-old starting work today would need to save an amount equivalent to £9.19 into a pension every day of their life until the age of 65 in order to achieve the optimum pension of two-thirds the current average annual salary of £26,020.

Martyn Bogira, Prudential’s Director of Defined Contribution Solutions, said: “The findings show very clearly that anyone earning an income should try to begin putting money into a pension fund as soon as possible as the cost of delay is considerable; for someone aged 40 who’s contributing to a pension for the first time, the optimum pension contributions are three times higher than for someone aged 18.

“Understandably, making payments into a pension at age 18 may be a struggle and seem insignificant but even the smallest of contributions has the potential to make a massive difference. Arguably, the simplest and most beneficial way to do this is to pay into an employer’s defined contribution scheme and take advantage of any contributions an employer will also make to help make up the optimum amount needed to retire on two-thirds salary.”

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UK Workers In State Of Pension Inertia

New research f r o m Prudential shows that nearly a third (30%) of Britain’s 8.8 million active occupational pension scheme members pay no attention to how their retirement savings are invested and 29% – more than 2.5 million scheme members – have never reviewed how their chosen pension fund is performing.

The pension provider’s study also shows that 48% of workers aged 25+ have their money invested in the ‘default’ fund of their company pension scheme.

Pension savers are failing to take an active role in managing their assets to produce the best possible retirement income. Around 29% admit they have never reviewed the progress of their selected pension funds.

Prudential warns that workers who do not regularly review the progress of their pension fund to deliver asset growth, or simply select the default fund offered by their employer without studying any other options available to them or seeking advice, could then risk limiting the value of their pension pot at retirement.

Andy Brown, director of investment funds at Prudential, said: “It’s worrying that so many people who pay into a company pension scheme appear to be in this state of inertia and aren’t taking an active role in the management of their pension savings.

“You routinely check your savings, utilities, insurance cover, mobile phone contract and broadband arrangements to make sure you’re getting the best f r o m them, and checking the performance of your pension should be no different.”

Prudential urges workers who have not reviewed their pension investments, especially during the stock market turbulence of the past two years, to review them now as a priority to ensure they are correctly positioned to take advantage of any market upturn.

Many pension scheme members are doing virtually nothing to ensure their pension funds are invested in the best place to maximise growth and maintain the right balance to protect fund values in the last few years before retirement.

When it comes to paying more money into company pension schemes, Prudential’s research found that 37% of people with a defined contribution pension have either made Additional Voluntary Contributions to their pension fund or increased the amount they pay in.

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Equity Mix Remains Top Choice For Pension Investments

Prudential has reported that more than one in three people retiring within the next 10 years say they would prefer their pension to be invested partly in the stock market and the remainder in other types of investments, according to new research*.

Equity Mix

The nationwide study shows that consumer confidence in the stock market continues despite recent market and economic upheavals.

Prudential asked 1002 men aged 55 to 64 and women aged 50 to 59 who have a pension how they would want their pension fund invested if they could choose:

– 35% said partly in the stock market and the remainder in other investments (40% men, 29% women)
– 29% said only in cash or very low-risk investments (29% men, 30% women)
– 22% said they did not know (18% men, 28% women)

Since the FTSE 100 index of leading shares hit a five-year low of 3530 in the week of 2nd March this year, it has climbed back up. Currently the FTSE is at 4615 w/c 27 July 2009, compared to 4413 w/c 26 July 2008 so is 202 points higher than this time five years ago.**

Andy Brown, Prudential’s director of investment funds, said: “Despite immense volatility in the stock market over the past year or so, there is still evidence of consumer confidence in equities to deliver a promising return for pension investments over the long-term.

“What is certain as well is that many people have been spooked by the recent economic maelstrom and, unsurprisingly, would prefer their pension to be in cash or lower risk investments as they near retirement.

“We’ve seen a marked increase in the numbers of people looking for a home for their money which they can trust, knowing that it has a solid capital base and a long-standing history which will stand it in good stead for the future.

“I think investors can feel confident in stock market opportunities if they are given a decent choice in how they access real assets such as the equity market. Investors can really capitalise on the markets if they can access funds across a number of asset classes and sectors from a range of different investment managers allowing diversification across assets and manager styles.”

* Survey conducted by Research Plus among 1,002 UK males aged 55-64 and UK females aged 50-59 between 23 and 30 April 2009 using an online methodology
** Source: Yahoo finance FTSE 100 charts – correct as at date of issue: 27th July 2009

About Prudential:
“Prudential” is a trading name of The Prudential Assurance Company Limited, which is registered in England and Wales. This name is also used by other companies within the Prudential Group, which between them provide a range of financial products including life assurance, savings and investment products, such as a bond investment and pensions, including advice on company pensions.

Registered Office at Laurence Pountney Hill, London EC4R 0HH. Registered number 15454. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

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Prudential UK Is Set To Improve The Service Delivery Offered To Advisers In The Defined Contribution (DC) Pension Market With The Roll-Out Of A Newly Enhanced Systems Platform

Prudential UK is set to improve the service delivery offered to advisers in the Defined Contribution (DC) pension market with the roll-out of a newly enhanced systems platform. The platform will introduce improved delivery capability and functionality for both new and existing clients and is a clear sign of Prudential’s further investment in the DC market. It also signals a serious commitment to clients and their members through the delivery of enhanced levels of service.

The new platform introduces a step change in the online services provided by giving clients greater branding options and easy access to key data. Recently enhanced retirement planning and investment comparison tools are also available to assist members in making more informed choices to help achieve their retirement goals.

The enhanced platform is designed to sit alongside Prudential’s dedicated account management programme and will produce continued improvements in both quality and member response times.

Martyn Bogira, Director DC Pensions, Prudential said, “Not only have we improved functionality for our clients, we also now have the flexibility to further tailor our service to the specific client and their members. We believe that the new platform in conjunction with our innovative investment solutions, and our communications capability will enable consultants to design bespoke solutions for our shared clients.”

Prudential’s proposition is powered by Capita Hartshead’s HartLink technology and brings together the systems expertise of the Capita Hartshead team and Prudential’s extensive experience in the DC market.

HartLink is one of the largest pension administration databases in the UK and is currently used to administer the records of over 3.4 million members. HartLink has proven to be highly scalable and the underlying architecture is effectively limitless in terms of database storage capacity.

About Prudential:
Prudential is a trading name of The Prudential Assurance Company Limited, registered in England and Wales. This name is also used by other companies within the Prudential Group. Registered Office at Laurence Pountney Hill, London EC4R 0HH. Registered number 15454. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

Prudential has been in the corporate pensions and group pension schemes market since 1929 and now provide DC pensions for over 5,700 schemes. Prudential employs an experienced team of individual’s to support the DC proposition. The DC area spanning servicing, marketing, account management and investment supports over 660,000 scheme members.

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Recession Woes Grow For Pensioners

New Prudential Class of 2009 retirement survey reveals the UK’s deepening economic crisis will mean the 3.25 million UK adults who plan to retire in 2009 can expect to receive £2.87 billion* less in their pensions than those who planned to retire in 2008.

The survey found UK workers planning to draw their pension in 2009 expect to get an average income of£17,779 a year, £884 less than those retiring in 2008 who anticipated an average annual income of £18,663. Retirement will mean taking a £7,129 cut in income compared with the national average salary of £24,908** but some believe they will be considerably worse off.

The Prudential survey showed that 11% of people retiring in 2009 expect to receive an income of less than £10,000 a year from their pensions and investments, with 12% of women expecting to manage on this level of income compared to 9% of men.

While 39% said their pension and savings would give them a decent retirement income, 61% were doubtful that they would have enough money to enjoy a comfortable life in retirement. When asked if they thought they were financially well prepared for retirement, only 47% responded positively.

Keith Haggart, Director of Lifetime Mortgages at Prudential said: “The global economic recession is relentless and indiscriminate in its impact and it was only a matter of time before we began to see British pensioners bear the brunt.”

He continued, “Although the results of our survey make unsettling reading, there are ways for pensioners to maximise their incomes during these difficult times. Drawing on some or all of the assets saved throughout their working lives, including releasing value from property through equity release schemes, can boost annual incomes without having a detrimental impact on quality of life or forcing pensioners to downsize or embark on a fire sale of their possessions and assets.”

Keith urged anyone approaching retirement or who has recently retired to talk to a financial adviser to help them review all their assets and savings to see how they could be used to maximise income.

Prudential’s retirement planning website helps consumers and employers tackle retirement issues. The website features a Retirement Planner which has been designed to help determine how much income a customer’s current arrangements might give them in retirement, factoring in current pensions, property, savings and investments. The Planner also shows customers how they might be able to boost retirement income, if there is a gap between what their current arrangements will provide at the point of retirement and what they anticipate they may need.

* Office of National Statistics 2007 show 24,990,500 adults aged 45+ in the UK. Prudential research shows that 13% of UK adults aged 45+ (youngest age stated by individuals planning to retire in 2009) said they planned to retire in 2009 = 3,251,854 people. Multiplied by £884 individual shortfall = £2.87 billion.

** 2008 ASHE survey results show median weekly pay for full-time employees in UK grew by 4.6% in the year to April 2008 to reach £479 (multiplied by 52 weeks =£24,908).

Survey conducted online by Research Plus among 1,000 UK adults aged 45+, during 10–18 November 2008.

About Prudential
“Prudential” is a trading name of The Prudential Assurance Company Limited, which is registered in England and Wales. This name is also used by other companies within the Prudential Group, which between them provide a range of financial products including life assurance, pensions, savings and investment products. Registered Office at Laurence Pountney Hill, London EC4R 0HH. Registered number 15454. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

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UK Adults Delaying Retirement Due To Economy Reveals Prudential

According to the new Prudential ‘Class of 2009’ retirement survey, around 2.2 million* UK adults aged 45 and above** are delaying their retirement in 2009 due to the state of the economy and the falling value of their investments.

The Prudential survey also highlights that their concerns are so severe that those delaying retirement do not expect to be able to get their plans back on track for years to come.

Only one in four (25 per cent) of those delaying drawing their pension in 2009 expect they will be able to retire before 2012, with an even higher number – two in five (42 per cent) – expecting it will be 2012 or beyond before they can retire and one in four (23 per cent) believing they won’t ever be able to afford to retire.

But, despite many adults delaying retirement, nearly one in three (30 per cent) of those actually able to retire in 2009 are public sector workers, even though they make up just one in five people in the UK workforce***.

The remaining 2009 retirees will be split 35 per cent from private sector jobs and 15 per cent from self employed roles, with the remainder coming from those who are unemployed or in other sectors.

“It is a reflection of the difficult economic situation that so many workers, and particularly those in private sector roles who do not benefit from public sector final salary pension schemes, are trying to delay retirement but there are other options available,” said Martyn Bogira, Director of DC Solutions at Prudential.

Martyn pointed out that even with the economy in its current depressed state, many annuity rates have performed better than many feared and there are a number of other pension income options available, like income drawdown, which can let workers delay buying an annuity until such time as the economy has started to recover.

Martyn continued, “Now more than ever it pays to seek early retirement advice from an independent financial adviser and we would suggest that people start planning for their retirement early, ideally at least 15 years from retirement. It is vital that those saving for retirement continually monitor their investment mix to ensure they have the right risk profile to help minimise the impact of economic fluctuations and falling stock markets.”

The information contained in Prudential UK’s press releases is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions. Full consumer product information can be found at www.pru.co.uk.

Survey conducted by Research Plus among 1,000 UK adults aged 45+ between 10 – 18 November 2008 using an online methodology

* Office of National Statistics 2007 population estimates, 2.2 million adults aged 45 and above.
** Of the survey group, the youngest age given for individuals planning to retire in 2009 was 45
*** ONS Labour Market Study, public sector staff account for 20.4 per cent of employed population in June 2005

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