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News: Retirees put faith in bricks and mortar

Tue, 06 Nov 07

Despite indications of a cooling housing market in most parts of Britain, people’s faith in bricks and mortar to fund their retirement increased dramatically over the past 12 months...

According to research* from Alliance Trust, 43% of GB adults expect property to be a top contributor to their income in retirement, compared to 31% last year**.

In contrast, Britain’s belief in company pension schemes to fund them in later life has slipped back this year, from 40% to 36%, meaning property now tops the list for our overall retirement expectations. There was, however, an increase or no change in the expected contribution from all the other sources of income in retirement.

Which three things do people most expect to contribute to income in retirement ***

2006

2007

Change

Property

31%

43%

Up

Company pension

40%

36%

Down

Personal pension

26%

28%

Up

An inheritance or windfall

17%

18%

Up

Current partner or spouse

18%

18%

-

Stockmarket investment

12%

15%

Up

A future business venture

5%

7%

Up

A current business venture

3%

4%

Up

A future partner or spouse

3%

3%

-

The survey showed that returns on direct stockmarket investments are increasingly relied upon, with an increase from 12% in 2006 to 15% in 2007. It also showed that 18% of people are hoping for an inheritance or a windfall to help them fund their retirement, while 18% expect to rely on their current partner or spouse.

Diversity is the key

Hyman Wolanski, Head of Pensions at Alliance Trust, said: “It is no surprise to see that people’s confidence in company schemes funding their retirement has taken a downturn. Over the last year we have seen a continuation of the trend of company pension schemes closing initially to new employees and then to existing employees. 

“There has been a tremendous growth in house prices over the last decade but, as we see initial signs of the residential property market cooling down, it is important that people don’t rely solely on their home to fund their retirement. For those who want to invest their pension fund in property there are plenty of collective vehicles available for this purpose, including some that invest in residential property.

“People often don’t appreciate that there are many financial products available to help them save for their retirement. Saving into an ISA, for example, could be a good way to kick start your retirement savings pot as it gives you much greater flexibility than pension schemes. 

“This is particularly important for younger people and there are opportunities to transfer this money into a pension fund which you can control later on in life. It is important that people take active steps to plan for their future to give themselves a good chance of having a comfortable retirement.”

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