Hundreds of thousands to use pensions to pay off mortgages

Hundreds of thousands to use pensions to pay off mortgages

Hundreds of thousands of older people are planning on raiding their pensions to pay off their mortgages, according to the latest research.

Annuity provider Just used ONS data and surveyed 1,000 people aged over 40 with a mortgage.

It found of the approximately 4 million homeowners in this age group with mortgages, under two-thirds are planning to clear their loans with regular monthly payments.

Around 320,000 homeowners aged 51-65 intend to use money from their pensions to pay off their home loans.

Around a fifth (23 per cent) of homeowners aged 51-65 – nearly a million people – are expecting to continue making mortgage payments after age 65 with one-in-four of them still making repayments beyond the age of 70.

Many hundreds of thousands expect to rely on other sources of funds to repay their home loan such as savings or inheritances, while 285,714 people, or 7 per cent, thought they would have to sell their home.

The research also shows that as people get older they become less confident their regular payments alone will clear their mortgages – seven out of 10 of those aged 51-55 expect regular payments will clear the debt compared to only half of those aged 61-65.

Previous Just research suggested around four in 10 people are forced to give up work earlier than they expected due to factors outside their control, most commonly ill health or redundancy.

Patrick Connolly, a spokesperson for advice firm Chase de Vere, said: "It is a big problem particularly with so many people on interest only mortgages without a repayment plan in place who are forced to make decisions they don't want to make.

"This could mean cashing in their pension, using equity release or selling their own home and facing the prospect of rented accommodation in retirement. It is vitally important people plan for the future."

Tom Selby, senior policy analyst at pension and investment platform A J Bell, said for many people using some of their pension to pay off outstanding loans will make financial sense, particularly if those loans come with sky high interest rates.

"However, savers also need to be conscious that making large withdrawals could also result in them paying extra tax and this also needs to be factored in.

"More fundamentally, the main purpose of a pension is to provide an income throughout retirement, so anyone making large withdrawals to pay off debts also needs to consider whether they need to top up their savings afterwards.

"Their ability to do this will be limited if they withdraw any taxable income as a result of the Government's decision to slash the Money Purchase Annual Allowance to £4,000.

"It is the complexity involved in taking decisions of this nature, and the potentially heavy consequences of getting it wrong, that make regulated financial advice so valuable."