Retirement savers stymied by green-eyed monster: poll

More than 60 per cent of workers saving for retirement are struggling with retirement envy over the financial security enjoyed by current pensioners, according to MetLife research.

What is more, just one in 10 of the sample, which involved 1,164 working adults aged 45 and over, believes they will have a higher standard of living at retirement than today’s pensioners, while 29 per cent think they will be slightly worse off.

The life assurer claims that there are grounds for retirement envy. Citing figures from the Office for National Statistics, the company said the median retired household income at £21,100 was £1,800 higher in real terms than during the depths of the recession in 2007/08.

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Meanwhile, median income for working households is still below the 2007/08 level.

On the other hand, separate MetLife research conducted among 760 retired adults found one in five pensioners envied the pension freedoms and flexibility that younger generations had.

Dominic Grinstead, managing director at MetLife UK, said: “Retirement envy is a real concern if savers simply switch off from pension saving and believe they will never achieve what older generations have.

“The fact that just one in 10 thinks they will be better off than current pensioners highlights the need to really grasp the opportunities of pension freedom which delivers flexibility over retirement savings and put people in control of their own money.

“Financial education and advice can play a major role, but the industry itself has to offer retirement income solutions which provide certainty over income and flexibility over capital as well as helping people to save.”

Adviser view

Ray Black, managing director of Lincolnshire-based IFA Money Minder Financial Services, said: “A lot of pensioners were enrolled into public sector-backed pension schemes which took retirement savings out of their hands. Most people at work now do not have this privilege.”