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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 September 2006, 10:38 GMT 11:38 UK
Britons 'want 30,000 pension'
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People think they will need 30,000 a year in retirement
The average Briton feels that they need a retirement income of nearly 30,000 a year to live comfortably, a survey from Scottish Widows suggests.

In addition, the survey of nearly 6,000 people found that on average people hoped to retire at age 62, three years before the state pension age for men.

But it seems many Britons are set to miss out on a comfortable retirement.

More than a quarter of people surveyed have no pension and a fifth of over 50s are failing to save, the firm added.

In fact, it estimated that only one in 12 people have the financial means in place to provide an retirement income of 30,000.

As a nation we are not saving nearly enough - yet we still hope we will be comfortable in retirement
Ian Naismith, Scottish Widows

According to Ian Naismith, head of pensions market development at Scottish Widows, people had to adopt a more realistic attitude to their retirement finances.

"The truth of the matter is quite simple - if you want to have a fairly comfortable retirement you should be saving at least 12% of your earnings year-in, year-out from the age of 30 until retirement at 65.

"And to achieve the income most people say they're looking for would require much more than that. As a nation we are not saving nearly enough - yet we still hope we will be comfortable in retirement."

Experiment

Meanwhile, a financial experiment carried out by AXA insurance has highlighted the difficulties that many may have surviving on a state pension in retirement.

Thirty-six adults were asked to live off the basic state pension and pension credit for a week, but nearly all overspent their allowance by an average of 158%.

The majority had gone into the red within three days.

Axa said the experiment had acted as a "wake-up call" to those who had taken part that they would struggle to survive on a state pension and needed to put aside money for their own retirement.




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