People pushing out retirement plans due to cost of living, finds survey

The survey found that 43 per cent of people in Ireland hold no form of pension product.
People pushing out retirement plans due to cost of living, finds survey

More than two in five people without a pension have either delayed starting one or delayed their planned retirement date due to the cost-of-living crisis.

This is according to a survey commissioned by Pensions Awareness Week.

The survey found that 43 per cent of people in Ireland hold no form of pension product, with almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of that cohort reporting that they can’t afford to both save for retirement and meet their monthly bills. That figure rises to 72 per cent among those aged 35-49.

A total of 31 per cent of those without a pension say they have delayed starting a pension due to the rising cost of living, and a further 11 per cent have pushed out their retirement date for the same reason.

Another 4 per cent have cashed in their pensions.

The survey also found that women are less likely to have a pension than men, with just 48 per cent of females reporting having some form of pension product versus 65 per cent of men.

Nearly two-thirds of those aged 25-49 are open to hearing about pensions but find it too complicated to understand.

Cost of living

Of those with a pension, the increase in the cost of living has not impacted retirement savings for the large majority (69 per cent).

However, 18 per cent have either halted their payments, delayed their planned retirement date, reduced their pension contributions, or cashed in a pension product — due to the cost of living.

The survey also shows that just under two in five (38 per cent) already know they won’t have sufficient money saved for retirement with the same number believing they will need to work longer than they intended due to an insufficient pension.

Yet only one in ten of those without a pension have ever discussed retirement options with their workplace. And, even among those with a pension, attention to its performance is low with one in five having never checked what funds their pension is invested in.

The survey found that there is a regional disparity between pension savers, with 63 per cent of people in Dublin holding some form of pension product, a figure that drops to 54 per cent of people living outside the capital.

While fewer than one in five of those without pensions have calculated how much money they need in retirement.
Only one in 20 have sought advice from a financial provider on pensions – or discussed retirement options with their workplace.

Ralph Benson, founder of PAW and Moneycube.ie’s Head of Financial Advice, says: “The research from B&A shows there are two sides to the story of the cost-of-living crisis.

“What’s becoming clear is its long-term effects on people’s financial security. On the one hand there are those who have a surplus each month.

“Despite the mounting costs of energy and other basics, they can probably survive with just minor tweaks to their finances.

“On the other, we have people for whom the margins are much tighter and so are being forced to make decisions now that will impact when they can retire and the quality of life they will enjoy when they do. This research also reveals that most people haven’t checked the performance of their pension and even fewer know how much they will need in retirement. Pensions Awareness Week gives people a chance to join the conversation about building your retirement plans and check in on your financial health.”

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