United Kingdom state pension 'least generous of all advanced economies', OECD states

07 December, 2017, 04:38 | Author: Regina Silva

Working people in the United Kingdom expect to earn less than a third of their salaries as their retirement income, far below their peers in other countries around the world.

"The OECD estimate that an average United Kingdom worker can "look forward" to a gross income in retirement equivalent to just 22% of our gross income when working - if we rely on the state pension alone".

In comparison, the OECD average is 63%.

The UK's population is ageing rapidly, with the number of people aged 65 and over for every 100 people of working age set to rise from about 30 at present to 48 in 2050.

Britain has relatively high levels of poverty among the elderly as its state pensions are the lowest among the most advanced countries in the world, an worldwide think tank has said.

And it said the government's auto-enrolment scheme, which was introduced in 2012, has reversed the downward trajectory of workplace pension participation in the private sector, from 42 per cent of workers in 2012 to 70 per cent in 2015.

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Stephen Lowe, group communications director at Just, said: "The UK has the highest dependence on private pensions".

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said the United Kingdom pays the least generous pensions among its 35 member nations, with the average Briton collecting the equivalent of just 29% of what they earned at work when they turn 68.

But it also warned new rules on withdrawing lump sums from pensions could serve to increase inequality, because rigidity around the state pension age and the lump sum withdrawal rules mean fewer people will be able to afford to retire early.

AJ Bell senior analyst Tom Selby says: "This report emphasises the importance of maintaining incentives to save and ensuring people have confidence that the rug won't be pulled from under their feet by politicians prioritising short-term cash generation over long-term policymaking".

He adds: "It is clear that the standard of living United Kingdom pensioners enjoy depends to a large extent on how much they save, how long they work and the decisions they make at retirement". We expect the issue of sustainability of withdrawals to become increasingly prominent as more information comes out on the behaviour of retirement savers in drawdown.

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