Regional confidence in ever getting to retirement ‘evaporates outside the capital’


    The percentage of North-Easterners and East Midlanders staying they are confident about affording retirement is barely half that of London, new data from Hargreaves Lansdown has shown.

    50 percent of Londoners said they were confident on the question compared to just 26 percent from the two regions.

    Outside of London, Britain’s confidence in retirement is at a stunning low, and even the London figures hardly make for positive reading.

    Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “While London was a relative hotspot of retirement confidence this quickly evaporates outside the capital.”

    The data also showed glaring knowledge gaps that Ms Morrissey said put “peoples’ chances of a comfortable retirement in serious jeopardy”.

    When it came to questions of having a clear idea of how much income people will receive in retirement, how much people had accumulated in their pension pot and people understanding the options available to them, there was a striking lack of knowledge across Britain, with the North-East and East Midlands consistently ranking among the worst.

    Ms Morrissey said: “People may have other financial priorities or feel their retirement is too far away to think about [or] they may not know where to go to get more information.

    “The key is to engage with your long-term savings. It is never too early – or indeed too late – to do this. You can still make positive improvements even in the years leading up to retirement.”

    “Having a good idea of how much you have in your pension is an ideal first step”, she said, “then you can think about the kind of retirement you want in terms of where you want to live and what you want to do and see whether you have enough in your pension to meet your needs.

    “Your pension provider or a service like Pension Wise can give you information about your options and the steps you can take to get the kind of retirement you want.”

    Britain’s regional average (of the 12 regions studied) for financial confidence ahead of retirement was found to be below below 34 percent.

    The average knowledge of the accumulated value of one’s pension pot is just over 35 percent and just under 35 percent when it comes to people understanding their retirement options.

    Furthermore, only a little over 31 percent know what income they will even need in retirement on average.

    Hargreaves Lansdown offered five pieces of advice for improving pension confidence.

    Their penultimate piece of advice is to think about other accumulated savings that people can draw on in retirement, like ISAs and people should take these into account.

    Finally, they urge that although pension planning can seem daunting and terribly complicated, there are lots of ways to access information and help so that people can build knowledge and confidence.

    Hargreaves Lansdown looked at 12 British regions, listed in order of retirement confidence here: London, West Midlands, East England, Yorkshire and Humber, South West, Northern Ireland, North-West, Wales, South East, Scotland, North-East and the East Midlands.

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