One in five have no savings

Top five workplace savings initiatives

One in five (19%) people in the UK have no savings, according to research from pension, life and investment firm Scottish Widows.

However, The Savings Report 2014, which surveyed 5,144 UK adults through YouGov, did find that 33% of respondents are saving more than they were two years ago.

The study also found:

  • 15% do not know the level of savings they have, 55% of respondents have between £1 and £50,000 of savings and 12% have more than £50,000 in savings.
  • 29% of respondents would be encouraged to save more if they had something specific in mind to save for.
  • Women earn £8,000 less per annum than their male counterparts, but women carry £500 less debt per month than men.
  • The average amount people have in short and long-term savings now stands at £32,407, compared with £30,175 last year, marking a 7% rise.
  • A third of respondents (33%) were aware that they were definitely not saving enough to meet their long-term needs and 32% admitted they hadn’t saved anything at all over the past 12 months. A failure to save was most common among those aged 45- 54, with 33% currently not putting any cash aside for the future.
  • 42% said not knowing how to go about saving or investing was a barrier to saving, while 23% said they would be inclined to save more if savings options were easier to understand.

David Lascelles, savings expert at Scottish Widows, said: “It has been a watershed year in the savings landscape, and the study reflects to some extent the effect that landmark changes have had on people’s mindsets.

“Greater flexibility on savings vehicles including Isas [individual savings accounts] and pensions, as well as reforms to how savings can be passed on, provide more incentives to put money away for the longer term.

“The increase in long-term savers suggests more people understand the need to prepare for their financial future, however plugging the knowledge gap will help ensure that people can access the information they need to make the right choices.”