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retirement planning

Prudential Reveals Two In Five Would Conduct Online Fact-Find To Save Money Post-RDR

Prudential research shows that one in four (25 per cent) people would be interested in an online or telephone financial advice service if it reduced costs.

The research also shows that one in five are more willing to pay for financial advice now than they were before the global financial crisis.

Two out of five (39 per cent) people would be willing to complete online fact-finds before meeting with an adviser if that would reduce the cost of advice, according to independent research from Prudential.*

The nationwide research was conducted to gauge people’s attitudes to potential new business models for financial advice, ahead of the introduction of the Financial Services Authority’s Retail Distribution Review (RDR) from 1 January 2013.

The research shows growing support for alternatives to traditional face-to-face meetings, with 25 per cent saying they would be willing to receive advice online or over the phone if that meant lower charges. Around 11 per cent would be interested in receiving advice either on the phone or online, while 10 per cent would want an online-only service and 4 per cent phone-only.

Support for remote meetings with an adviser is stronger among the younger generation, with 39 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds saying they would be happy to receive financial advice on the phone or online or through a combination of phone and online, compared to 23 per cent of 35 to 54-year-olds. The support reduces to just 15 per cent among those aged 55 plus.

Russell Warwick, Prudential’s distribution change director, said: “Giving advice over the phone or online is a logical progression for advisers, and reflects the need to meet changing customer demand. We don’t believe that an ‘all or nothing’ approach is set to emerge but we do expect firms to start integrating non face-to-face aspects of client servicing into their models over time, as clients become more comfortable about receiving advice remotely.

“Providing these services can be run in a way that is cheaper than the face-to-face approach, it should free up advisers’ time, making their businesses more efficient and enabling them to focus on securing new clients. Conducting annual reviews by phone, for example, would cut travel time which, when added up for all clients, could amount to hundreds of hours over the course of a year.”

The Prudential research shows that 47 per cent of people would expect the costs for an online or phone advice service to be at least half as much as a traditional face-to-face service.

The research also shows that nearly one-fifth (18 per cent) of people are more willing to pay for financial advice now than they were before the global financial crisis. This is a result of people being more concerned about their future finances and how current market volatility will impact their investments and financial future, as well as trusting their own judgement less when making financial decisions.

Via EPR Network
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Prudential Reports Higher Rate Taxpayers Reject £438 Million In Tax Relief

One in four higher rate taxpayers do not contribute to pension schemes despite the attraction of tax relief to help boost their retirement savings, according to independent research from Prudential*. Nationally, this equates to around 216,000 employees missing out on up to £438 million a year in pension tax relief.

The nationwide study of those earning between £42,275 and £149,999 found 21 per cent claiming they cannot afford to contribute to a pension scheme. One in eight (13 per cent) say they do not see the point of saving for retirement, despite the tax benefits ofpensions, while 17 per cent don’t know why they fail to save into a pension scheme.

An average higher rate taxpayer contributing £425 a month into a pension fund receives basic rate tax relief of £85 a month or £1,020 a year, directly into their pension fund. Up to an additional £1,020 a year in higher rate tax relief can be claimed, which could also be used for pension saving.

Figures from HMRC show that around 58 per cent of the estimated 900,000 higher rate taxpayers in the UK contribute to defined contribution pension schemes, while another 15 per cent are members of either non-contributory or defined benefit schemes.

But despite earning average salaries of £58,541, the rest do not save into pension schemes at all. Around 43 per cent of those who don’t save into a pension scheme claim to have made alternative retirement arrangements, 4 per cent have existing Self-InvestedPersonal Pension schemes and another 2 per cent claim they will not retire.

Matthew Stephens, Prudential’s tax expert, said: “Pension saving offers valuable tax reliefs to all workers and particularly to higher rate taxpayers. Basic rate 20 per cent tax relief is available at source plus up to an extra 20 per cent from HMRC for higher rate taxpayers. Turning down what is effectively free money simply does not make sense.

“It is worrying that so many higher rate taxpayers say they cannot afford to save into a pension despite earning healthy salaries. The good news is that it is never too late to take action on saving for retirement and we urge all workers to seek advice on long-termretirement planning.”

The Prudential research shows that recent changes limiting annual tax-free pension contributions to £50,000 a year have not significantly dented pension saving among higher earners. Just 8 per cent said the change had put them off pension saving while 25 per cent were unaware of the change.

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Prudential Reveals Pensioners Fail To Count The Cost Of Ill-Health In Retirement

Prudential has revealed new research which shows that despite the ongoing debate about the need to fund long-term care for the elderly, only one in five people planning to retire this year have made financial provision for ill-health in retirement.

Prudential’s ‘Class of 2012’ study into the finances and expectations of those planning to retire this year shows that just 20 per cent have set money aside for any care needs. This drops to 16 per cent among those aged 65 plus.

Prudential’s research also found that less than half (45 per cent) of this year’s retirees have planned for the fact that they may need more income in retirement as they get older.

However, funding long-term care has never been more important. Although average life expectancy for men over the age of 65 is 17.6 years, and 20.2 years for women, healthy life expectancy is just 9.9 years for men and 11.5 years for women.

Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement expert at Prudential, said: “People retiring this year realise that living longer may mean they will need a higher income as they get older, but few of them have made the connection between the risk of ill-health, and needing money to pay for healthcare.

“Although life expectancy is increasing, healthy life expectancy is flat-lining. With the average person now working until they are aged 63.4, people are enjoying fewer healthy years in retirement.

“Spending the first few years of retirement trekking in the Andes and running around after grandchildren may be a reality for some, but it is important not to forget that health will worsen as pensioners get older.

“Making financial provision for the possibility of ill-health in retirement should be an integral part of the retirement planning process.”

Across the country, those planning to retire this year in Wales are the most likely to have prepared for the risk of ill-health in retirement (32 per cent), while those in the East of England (7 per cent) are the least prepared.

The Government is currently considering recommendations from the Dilnot Commission on the Funding of Care and Support which, in July 2011, proposed that an individual’s contribution to social care should be capped at £35,000, with any additional costs funded by the State.

Via EPR Network
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Prudential Reveals Two In Five 2012 Retirees Want To Stay In Work

Prudential has revealed that two in five (40 per cent) people planning to retire this year would be happy to work past 65 if they had the chance.

Prudential’s Class of 2012 study, which looks at the finances and expectations of those planning to retire this year, shows that 48 per cent of men and 32 per cent of women would be happy to continue working past the standard retirement age.

The main motivation for more than two thirds (68 per cent) of this year’s retirees who want to stay in the workforce past 65, is a desire to remain physically healthy and mentally active, while 39 per cent do not like the idea of retiring and just staying at home. More than half (54 per cent) claim that they enjoy working.

However, despite wanting to stay in work, only 13 per would choose to continue to work full-time with their current employer. Nearly half (49 per cent) of those retirees who want to work past 65 years old would prefer to work part-time, either with their current employer or in a new role, in order to strike a better work life balance.

More than one in 10 (11 per cent) of entrepreneurial retirees would consider starting their own business after the age of 65 or earn money from a hobby in order to keep working. Five per cent would work as charity volunteers.

Recent ONS figures show that average retirement ages are rising, with men now retiring at an average age of 64.6, compared with 63.8 in 2004, and women working until 62.3 years compared with 61.2 previously.

Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement expert at Prudential, said: “There is a new retirement reality taking shape across the UK, with thousands of people actively choosing to work past the traditional retirement age.

“The fact that so many of this year’s retirees would keep working on a part-time basis is a strong indication that, for many, working is as much about staying young at heart as it is about funding retirement.

“Gradual retirement is an increasing trend among pensioners, whether this means remaining in the same job on a flexible basis or even setting up their own business. Those retiring at 65 will face an average of nineteen years in retirement which makes the financial and social benefits of working for longer an even bigger draw for a new generation of industrious retirees.”

Around the country, those planning to retire this year from the East of England were the most keen to stay part of the workforce with 54 per cent saying that they would choose to work past 65 if they had the option. Half (49 per cent) of Londoners and 45 per cent of people in the South East would also like to continue to work.

However, just 29 per cent of Scots planning on retiring this year would be happy to work past 65 if given the choice, along with 30 per cent of retirees in Wales and in Yorkshire and Humberside, and only 21 per cent of those in the North East.

Via EPR Network
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Prudential Reveals Saving Money Is Top Priority For Thrifty Retirees

Prudential has revealed the results of new research which shows the top priority for people intending to retire this year is saving money to ensure they have enough to live on in retirement. Nearly 6 out of 10 people (57 per cent) said saving will be a top priority.

The insurer’s Class of 2012 study, which looks at the finances and expectations of those planning to retire this year, also found that women are more likely than men to prioritise saving during retirement. 62 per cent of women will make this a priority compared with 52 per cent of men.

Although saving money is a key focus, those intending to retire this year are still determined to have a fun-filled retirement. More than a third (36 per cent) say that spending money on travelling the world will be a priority for them, while 43 per cent will make spending money on enjoying themselves a priority.

Giving to charity and spending money on fighting the ageing process are low priorities for this year’s retirees. Fewer than 1 in 20 (4 per cent) image-conscious pensioners say that spending money on anti-ageing treatments will be a priority in retirement, while only slightly more will prioritise giving money to charity (5 per cent).

Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement income expert at Prudential, said: “Today’s retirees are likely to spend longer in retirement than previous generations so it is encouraging to see that they understand the importance of saving money to ensure they can live comfortably. Saving shouldn’t be regarded as something that suddenly stops once you retire, and the current generation of retirees seems to be more aware of this than ever before.

“Saving as much money as possible, from as early an age as possible, is the best way to ensure you can afford a comfortable lifestyle in retirement. Consulting a financial adviser can also be an important step in helping retirees to make the most of their pension pots.

“It’s not only about saving though; many retirees in the Class of 2012 are determined to spend money on enjoying themselves and travelling the world, which seems a fair reward for all their hard work during their working lives.”

Via EPR Network
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Prudential Study Reveals One In Six Will Retire With No Pension

Prudential’s Class of 2012 study has revealed that one in six people (16 per cent) planning to retire this year will depend on the State Pension to fund their retirement as they have no other pension.

The figures come from Prudential’s Class of 2012 research, which provides insights into the financial expectations of Britons planning to retire this year.

Women are more than twice as likely as men to have no pension; 20 per cent of women retiring in 2012 will depend on the State Pension compared with just 8 per cent of men.

The average person planning to retire this year will look to the State for 34 per cent of their income, with State Pension payments set to rise to £107.45 a week for single people from the 6th April 2012. Company pensions (35 per cent) are the second highest source of income and the remaining 30% comes from a mixture of savings, investments, personal pension savings, part time work and money from family members.

The Prudential research also shows that one quarter (26 per cent) of people retiring this year either overestimate by more than £500 a year what the State Pension pays, or simply do not know.

Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement income expert at Prudential, said: “While the State Pension is a safety net for pensioners in the UK, it should only ever be regarded as part of an overall retirement plan.

“For far too many people, the State Pension has become the default income option in retirement. Even those who have some private provision depend so heavily on the State that it makes up a third of their retirement income.

“Although State Pension levels will rise to £107.45 for single people per week on Friday, this will still only provide relatively low levels of income to people in retirement. It’s a weak safety net for those without any savings and the real income shock for many retirees will come when the gap between their current earnings and the State Pension becomes apparent.

“If people want to maintain their standard of living in retirement it is important that they start to save as much as possible as early as possible, and the vast majority should join company pension schemes where possible. Seeking early advice from a financial adviser should also be a prerequisite to helping people achieve the level of retirement income they want and need.”

Regionally, people retiring this year in the Midlands are the most likely in the UK to rely on the State Pension (40 per cent). This compares with a quarter (28 per cent) of those in Scotland, who claim that they will be the least reliant on the state for their retirement income.

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Prudential Reveals Brits Hiding £4.6 Billion From Their Partners In Secret Saving Stashes

Prudential has revealed that fifteen per cent of Britons over the age of 40 and living with their partner choose to keep some or all of their savings hidden from their other halves.

The survey, which examines couples’ attitudes to financial planning, was conducted among savers over the age of 40 and living with a partner. It found that as many as 4.5 million* Britons could be concealing savings or investments worth an average of£1,037 from their spouse or partner – a secret stash of approximately £4.6 billion.

One in ten (9 per cent) of those choosing to keep their funds hidden do so because they don’t trust their other half’s financial decision making, while a further quarter (23 per cent) admit that this is a security measure, in case they should split up with their partner.

Women are more likely to keep their funds hidden from their partner, with 18 per cent admitting to hiding savings averaging £1,002. This compares with 12 per cent of men, who conceal an average fund of £1,072.

A prudent two in five (42 per cent) secret savers plan to use the money to supplement their retirement income – even though 20 per cent of those surveyed admit to never having discussed financial planning for retirement with their spouse or partner.

Vince Smith-Hughes, head of business development at Prudential, said: “By harbouring secret stashes of money, many couples are failing to plan sufficiently for their joint retirement. While it is understandable that some people in relationships want to be able to spend their own money, it is important for couples to have regular and open discussions about financial planning for the sake of maximising their retirement incomes. Only then can they decide how to make the best possible joint provision for the future.

“Consulting a financial adviser together is an important part of this on-going dialogue and can help couples to secure the income and lifestyle they expect in retirement.”

Prudential’s survey also found that nearly a fifth (17 per cent) of Britons feel uncomfortable about discussing financial matters with their partner. While two thirds (67 per cent) of couples say they have not received professional financial advice together in the past five years, one in 10 people claim that either they or their partner has independently visited an adviser within the past five years.

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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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Prudential Reports Britons Favour Spending On Holidays Over Saving For Retirement

Prudential has revealed that nearly three million working age adults will prioritise going on holiday over continuing to save for their retirement as their finances are squeezed.

The survey asked non-retired adults in the UK to outline their spending priorities when faced with a reduction in monthly expenditure as incomes are frozen for many and living costs increase.

Prudential’s research also found that an estimated 2.5 million Britons (or 10 per cent of those who have started saving for retirement would, if forced to make the choice, continue to spend money on nights out with friends and trips to the cinema ahead of maintaining payments into their pensions.

In a similar vein, more than 2 million would choose clothes shopping or going to the hairdresser ahead of payments into their retirement savings.

The figures highlight how saving for retirement is less of a priority for many in the current financial climate. Having previously revealed that more than 1 in 3 non-retired UK adults have no private or company pension, Prudential’s research has also found that almost a quarter wait until they are 31 years old before paying anything into a pension.

Vince Smith Hughes, Head of Business Development at Prudential, said: “Given the choice, many of us would opt for the immediate benefits of a holiday or a night out with our friends over saving for retirement. However, I’m sure we would all like to be able to continue topping up our tans occasionally or going out for meals after we have retired. So it is really important to strike a balance and keep building up a pension that can support the lifestyle we want to have in later life.

“As people tighten their belts it is important to think about the long-term impact of financial decisions and spending patterns. Those looking to maximise their retirement income should start saving as much as possible as early as possible in their working lives. Even small contributions can make a significant difference to a pension if invested early. And a consultation with a professional financial adviser will help you make the right long-term and short-term financial decisions.”

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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.

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Retirement Planning: Roth IRA Basics

A Roth IRA, or individual retirement account, is one of the most beneficially retirement planning opportunities available. They offer tax-free growth and are an ideal way to become financially independent by retirement. They are available to people who are not eligible for a 401(k) employer matching contribution and people who are able to save more money for retirement than the amount that their employer matches.

People can open a Roth IRA at the majority of bank and brokerage offices in person and online. The forms are basic and assistance is generally available. Typically all that is needed is a social security number and the social security numbers of any potential beneficiaries that may be placed on the account.

When creating a financial plan, an individual must consider their earned income when it comes to their Roth IRA. The contribution amount permitted is limited by the earned income, which includes wages and self-employed earnings. This, however, does not include interest or dividends. For people who are married, the contribution is limited to the total of the combined earned income.

The contributions limits for Roth IRA retirement planning accounts can vary from year to year. This can also vary by age. Generally, if you are under 50 years of age, you can contribute up to $5,000. If you are over 50 years of age, you can put in up to $6,000. These are the combined contribution amount. An applicant should obtain financial guidance to find out specifics.

Via EPR Network
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Prudential Reveals Just One In Five Seek Financial Advice In Run Up To Retirement

According to Prudential research, people approaching retirement could be missing out on valuable guidance by choosing to shun the services of a professional financial adviser. The survey found that only 19 per cent who said they were planning to retire in 2010 got their pre-retirement advice from a financial adviser.

Prudential Reveals Just One In Five Seek Financial Advice In Run Up To Retirement

Prudential’s Class of 2010 report has also found that 35 per cent got their financial advice from friends, 10 per cent from family and 25 per cent newspapers, magazines and the internet, however fewer than one in 10 people (9 per cent) who had done their own research from newspapers, magazines or the internet then went on to seek professional financial advice regarding their retirement planning.

Vince Smith-Hughes, head of retirement income at Prudential, said: “There’s no doubt that the internet and all the various personal finance magazines and newspapers provide a wealth of useful information for people planning their retirement. But if people rely solely on this information to make a financial decision, it could lead to serious misdiagnosis and people could end up making irreversible decisions which leave them financially disadvantaged.

“The low take-up of financial advice could also be a wake-up call for the industry and regulators. The fact that relatively few consumers appear to take financial advice highlights the need to develop advice services which can address the issue of consumer access, and perhaps the industry could also do more to encourage people approaching retirement to take advantage of the expertise which are already available from advisers.

“I suspect that one reason for low take-up of financial advice is that people are reluctant to pay for it, but I firmly believe there’s no substitute for expert professional financial advice. Like many services which require skill and a detailed knowledge of the market, financial advice does cost money.”

Men are more inclined to consult a financial adviser about an endowment or their pension plan than women according to Prudential’s research (22 per cent compared to 15 per cent), while more women than men tend to seek their advice from friends or family and newspapers, magazines or the internet (38 per cent compared to 32 per cent).

Via EPR Network
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Prudential Reveals That Advisers Pin RDR Hopes Online

Prudential has released research demonstrating the need for providers to constantly adapt their services to help advisers in both the online and offline environment, with more than half of the advisers surveyed (58%) ranking better quality or more online information and service options as the most important element of the product provider/distributor relationship surrounding preparations for Retail Distribution Review (RDR).

While improving online servicing is seen as a must do by advisers, they also believe that solid account management relationships must go hand-in-hand with technology. This sentiment was highlighted by 40% of advisers citing more or better dialogue with an account manager as the next most important service element surrounding their preparations for RDR. With a combination of expert face-to-face and telephone account management teams readily available to guide advisers through obtaining and completing sales, this is a service Prudential is already supports.

Ian McKenna, Director of the Finance and Technology Research Centre (FTRC) said: “RDR will make it essential for advisers to focus on the cost of doing business in ways they have never needed to previously. It is not giving the advice that takes excessive time but the preparation. Collating information manually is hugely time consuming, electronic services can deliver in seconds what might otherwise take hours. Historically the cost of those hours has been subsidised by commission, when it is the client potentially paying for the time racking up hours in this way will no longer be acceptable. Automated delivery of information to advisers will be a hygiene factor in a Post RDR environment.”

57% of advisers claimed that their volume of client enquiries regarding retirement planning remains unchanged. This is encouraging news in the current economic climate, proving that it is vital for providers to arm advisers with all the necessary tools to deal with their continuous day-to-day business.

Jon Cross, Head of eBusiness at Prudential said: “Our research shows that advisers are becoming increasingly dependent on online services to help guide them through the changes that RDR will bring. Prudential works very closely with advisers to develop its online services, we constantly review our content and navigational functionality, and will of course continue to evolve our systems to help advisers as they change their business models ready for RDR. We are committed to providing a high level of service to advisers to ensure that they spend as little time on administration as possible. Taking their business online frees up time that would have traditionally been spent processing paperwork.”

The benefits of online servicing are clear for advisers, allowing easy access to brochures, illustrations and valuations outside normal office hours. Prudential’s adviser website houses a wealth of useful material including product guides, support literature, real-time valuations and market analysis from industry experts. Advisers can also find a variety of interactive tools covering pension planning, drawing an income and annuitisation. The ‘Support for you’ section provides advisers with updates and news regarding regulatory issues such as TCF and RDR. Also under this section advisers can hear what Prudential experts have to say as they explore various opportunities and considerations advisers face in helping their clients save for and provide an income in their retirement.

Prudential surveyed 123 independent financial advisers during April 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, annuity products – including retirement annuity, 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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According To The Latest Survey From Prudential, Financial Advisers Are Not Convinced That Their Clients’ Retirement Planning Is On Course

The new Prudential survey found that over two-fifths of advisers (43 per cent) said they are either not that confident or not at all confident, that their clients’ retirement planning is on course, compared to just a third (34 per cent) who said they are either reasonably confident or very confident.

However despite their doubts about how well their clients are prepared for retirement, a third of advisers (33 per cent) actually reported an increase in the number of enquiries from clients about pensions and retirement planning over the past three months. Additionally, half of the advisers surveyed said they had seen an increase in the number of clients using the open market option when shopping around for their annuity in the past three months.

Andy Curran, Director of Intermediated Sales at Prudential, said: “Advisers and providers have taken a fair amount of flak over the years for apparently not informing people that they have the freedom to shop around for the retirement products which best suit their needs.

“It’s good to see that half of advisers say they’ve seen an increase in the number of people using the open market option but it seems to me that it’s taken a financial crisis for people to start their financial planning.

“What is worrying is the feedback from advisers that their clients’ retirement planning is not on course, especially in these unprecedented times when personal financial security should be top of the agenda for everyone.”

Prudential surveyed 123 independent financial advisers during April 2008.

About Prudential:
“Prudential” is a trading name of The Prudential Assurance Company Limited and Prudential Unit Trusts Limited. 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. The Prudential Assurance Company and Prudential Unit Trusts Limited are registered in England and Wales under number 15454 and 1796126. Registered Office at Laurence Pountney Hill, London EC4R 0HH. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

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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.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

LV=, the investment, pensions and insurance group, has revealed that the credit crunch, stock market volatility, and fears of a recession are growing concerns for the nation’s pre-retirement population

Six months after the LV= ‘State of Retirement’ report* first identified the rise of ‘FREDs’ – people approaching retirement who are Facing Retirement Earnings Doubts – new research shows that 69% of pre-retired people are now more concerned than ever about their financial security. This equates to 7.1m people**, an increase of 600,000 since the first LV= ‘State of Retirement’ report was published in May 2008***.

The rising cost of utility bills and food prices remains the biggest worry for people facing retirement, with 71% of those surveyed. However, this is marginally down on six months ago (76%), whereas worries regarding the credit crunch, stock market volatility, and fears of a recession are now all on the increase.

The credit crunch has become a concern in the last six months for an additional 2.1m pre-retired people, making a total of 4.2m. In addition, a further 1.8m people have become more anxious about a recession and a further 1.5m about stock market volatility, totalling 4.5m and 3.1m pre-retirees respectively. Over 50s are also more concerned about job insecurity. These three issues have increased in importance over the last six months, further contributing to the growing number of FREDs.

Despite the increase in those admitting to being more concerned about their financial situation in retirement, 20% are not saving anything towards their retirement, while 51% have not increased the amount they are saving. Of the 10% who have increased the amount they save each month, the average is £225 a month, £35 more than the average monthly amount from the survey six months ago.

Mike Rogers, LV= group chief executive, said: “In just six months the number of FREDs has increased, indicating that pre-retired people across the UK are more concerned than ever about their retirement finances. Unsurprisingly, the credit crunch, stock market volatility, and fears of a recession are now huge issues for these people, along with the perennial concern about the rising cost of living.”

The latest LV= report also shows that the number of people approaching retirement who haven’t taken any form of financial advice about retirement planning has increased to 60%, compared with 56% previously.

Mike Rogers continued: “The FREDs of this world have at least received some small comfort from the recent Pre-Budget Report, with the announcement of increases in both the state pension and pension credit. This goes some way towards bridging the gap between income expectation and reality in retirement, that our survey revealed is an issue for many people.”

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from online Opinium Research

* Sample size was 1042 adults over the age of 50 years. Fieldwork undertaken 14th – 19th April 2008. ** The over 50s population in the UK is 21,011,000 (Source: Population projections by ONS, 2008). According to the research, 49% of those people are not retired. The research also shows that 69% (7.1m people) agreed they have become more concerned lately about retirement finances. *** Sample size – 1655 adults over the age of 50 years. Fieldwork undertaken 3rd – 9th April 2008.

About LV= LV= is a registered trade mark of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited (LVFS) and a trading style of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies. LV= employs more than 3,500 people, serves more than 2.5 million customers and members, and manages around £8 billion on their behalf. LV= is also the UK’s largest friendly society (Association of Friendly Societies Key Statistics 2008. Total net assets) and a leading mutual financial services provider. LVFS is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority register number 110035. LVFS is a member of the ABI, AMI, AFS and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.

Via EPR Network
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