ABI: Half the working population not saving enough for retirement – Haddrill calls for pensions boost

New research, unveiled today at the ABI Savings Conference 2008, shows that the ‘need to save’ message is still not getting through to the British working population. The ABI’s 2008 ‘State of the Nation’s Savings’ survey shows that almost half the working population, some 13 million people, are either not saving enough or not saving at all for their retirement. But a golden opportunity exists to boost pension saving by enabling automatic enrolment into workplace personal pension schemes as soon as possible, rather than 2012 when it is due to begin under current pension reform plans.

The conference will also focus on retirement income, examining the latest developments in this market, and on the urgent need to improve consumer engagement and understanding of the key decisions they face at retirement.

Stephen Haddrill, the ABI’s Director General, said:

“It is disappointing that savings have been overlooked by the Government in the Pre-Budget Report. Our problems arise from a decade of policies promoting debt and credit. It is time for that to be reversed. Pension funds and other investments have suffered in the recent economic turbulence, but we must not forget that they are long-term investments which deliver excellent returns over that timescale. Not saving is far riskier than saving, so people should think very carefully before cutting back on pension contributions or stopping them altogether. Indeed, saving can itself act as a stimulus to the economy, by enabling credit markets to expand.
“It was particularly disappointing that the Government did not use the Pre-Budget Report to give pension saving a real boost by bringing forward plans for automatic enrolment into workplace pension schemes. But it’s not too late, and we will continue to urge the Government to take this action.”

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Notes for Editors

1. Enquiries to:
Jonathan French 020 7216 7392 (Mobile: 07958 330 480)
Malcolm Tarling 020 7216 7410 (Mobile: 07776 147 667)
Erfan Hussain 020 7216 7411 (Mobile: 07712 841 184)
Kelly Ostler-Coyle 020 7216 7415 (Mobile: 07968 364 302)

2. The State of the Nation’s Savings summary report and detailed research document are available on the ABI web site, www.abi.org.uk.

3. The ABI is the voice of the insurance and investment industry. Its members constitute over 90 per cent of the insurance market in the UK and 20 per cent across the EU. They control assets equivalent to a quarter of the UK’s capital. They are the risk managers of the UK’s economy and society. Through the ABI their voice is heard in Government and in public debate on insurance, savings and investment matters.

4. An ISDN line is available for broadcasts.

Copies of all ABI news releases, together with other information from the Association, can be seen on our website http://www.abi.org.uk