39% of UK staff do not think they will be able to retire

able to retireTwo-fifths (39%) of full-time UK employees do not believe they will ever be able to retire due to the rising cost of living, up from 33% 12 months ago, according to research by Wealth at Work.

The financial wellbeing and retirement specialist surveyed 2,019 UK adults aged 22 and above in full-time employment. It found that 46% of those aged 35-44 years old are the age group most likely to believe they will never be able to afford to retire.

One-third (32%) said are looking to delay their retirement due to the rising cost of living, up from 21% 12 months ago. Four-fifths (81%) were concerned that they will be less comfortable in retirement due to a savings shortfall, with the same percentage concerned they will have to work longer to make up for it.

Two-fifths (41%) admitted to not feeling supported in their workplace regarding help to understand their finances. Meanwhile, 54% would seek pension guidance from someone unqualified, such as family and friends, or no one at all, while just 14% would speak to their employer.

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Jonathan Watts-Lay, director at Wealth at Work, said: “Most people aged 35 to 44 will not have benefited from a full working life of automatic-enrolment and are less likely to reach retirement with defined benefit or final salary pensions than some older generations. In fact, pre auto-enrolment, many in this age group may not have saved into pensions at all, missing a number of years of contributions and growth.

“It may not seem important now, but preparing finances for later life is one of the most important things someone can do. Many don’t realise the significant difference a small increase to their pension savings can make. This is especially true when an employer matches any additional contributions. Those who are approaching retirement should make sure they work out a financial plan, starting by carefully looking at what pensions, savings and investments they have.”