Retirement Living Standards

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Picture your future

The Retirement Living Standards

Designed to help us picture what kind of lifestyle we could have in retirement.

More of us are saving in a workplace pension than ever before. But will the future we want be the future we are able to get? The Retirement Living Standards have been developed to help us to picture what kind of lifestyle we could have in retirement.

Research shows 51% of people focus on their current needs and wants at the expense of providing for the future and only 23% of people are confident they know how much they need to save.  The Standards aim to help savers overcome this challenge and give them more confidence about their retirement saving.

Pitched at three levels: minimum, moderate and comfortable, they have been designed as a practical and meaningful way for savers to understand retirement saving. Like the 5-a-day healthy eating initiative, the PLSA’s ambition is for the Retirement Living Standards to become a widely adopted industry standard, with schemes using them in general information for their members, in annual benefit statements, or to develop personalised targets for their members’ pension planning.

Key points

  • Research shows 51% of people focus on their current needs and wants at the expense of providing for the future and only 23% of people are confident they know how much they need to save.  The Standards aim to help savers overcome this challenge and give them more confidence about their retirement saving.
  • The Standards are based on independent research with real people, and were developed in partnership with Loughborough University Research faculty. 
  • They describe three different standards of living with a basket of goods and associated costs for each, made up of household bills, food and drink, transport, holidays and leisure, clothing and personal care, and helping others.
  • The PLSA wants to see schemes representing 90% of active savers adopt the standards by 2025.

Visit the Retirement Living Standards website to find out more.


Awards 2021

We launched a new series of awards to recognise excellence in adopting the Retirement Living Standards for member communications.

The awards were open to pension schemes, providers, consultants, public bodies and other stakeholders who have adopted the standards.

They were judged by a panel of industry experts who took into consideration the scale and available resources of the organisation making the entry, so size did not preclude smaller organisations from being recognised.

2021 Nominees

Following judging of each of the nine shortlisted entries, three award winners were selected to win the prizes for their work to ensure the Standards are accessible to as many savers as possible. 

2021 winners

The three winners of the inaugural awards were named during the 2021 Annual Conference and were: Saver engagement: Scheme – Rail Pen, Saver engagement: Provider – Standard Life, FinTech / Innovation – Legal and General. Click the logos below to find out more about why they won.

Watch the showcase of the shortlist presented at the 2021 PLSA Annual Conference:

Our congratulations to all the shortlisted applicants and the winners.