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Last Updated: Monday, 26 June 2006, 22:58 GMT 23:58 UK
Fewer save enough for retirement
State pension book
Only 46% are saving adequately for old age.
Fewer people are saving enough for their retirement, according to research published by a big insurance company.

Scottish Widows, owned by Lloyds TSB, says that in the last year the percentage of people saving adequately for their old age fell from 55% to 46%.

At the same time, the proportion failing to make any form of pension saving rose from 17% to 28%.

The insurer commissioned market research with questions being put to 5,806 people.

In May the government published its plan to reform the state pension system, following three years of work by Lord Turner's Pensions Commission.

But Iain Naismith, of Scottish Widows, said: "Although it is too early to tell it does appear, regrettably, that the noise surrounding pensions could have led many to put their retirement savings on hold while they wait and see what happens with the much-publicised government reforms.

"There also appears to be a significant decrease in confidence that final salary schemes will provide a good income in retirement."

Among the principal changes being proposed by the government are a gradual rise in the state pension age and the creation of a new system of additional personal pension savings.

Scheme closures

Another factor that Scottish Widows pointed to for undermining the public's enthusiasm for pension saving was the continued closure of private sector final salary pension schemes.

This contributed to a fall - from 41% to 35% - in the proportion of people who believe they will be able to rely on such a scheme.

With this went a rise - from 12% to 23% - in those who have no idea where their main income will come from once they have retired.

However the research was not entirely gloomy.

It found that there has been a big rise in ordinary savings, with the average amount of money accumulated, excluding property and pensions, rising from 16,600 to 24,300 per person.

As for raising the current state retirement age of 65, only 34% said they would be happy for this to happen.

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