Retirement Income Adequacy: Generation by Generation
Retirement Income Adequacy: Generation by Generation


Retirement Income Adequacy: Generation by Generation’ reveals that automatic enrolment will deliver a real improvement in the retirement outcomes of millions of people in the UK, but there is still room for improvement. 

This research finds that, of the 25.5 million people in employment:

  • 1.6 million people, are still at high risk of falling short of a minimum income standard (MIS) in retirement; and
  • 13.6 million people, are still at risk of not meeting their target replacement rate (TRR).

It is clear from our analysis that minimum contributions under automatic enrolment need to increase to at least 12%. The precise level, the timing of the change and the balance between employer and employee contributions are issues which need to be fully thought through in the light of the effects of increases in contributions due in 2018 and 2019.

We believe that the success of automatic enrolment to date has been underpinned by wide consensus and support as established by the Pension Commission.  This report recommends that, to ensure the next phase of automatic enrolment builds on the success of the first, the Government should create an independent commission with a remit to:

  1. Review existing measures of adequacy and make recommendations for a national standard, or standards, which reflect the changing nature of retirement.
  2. Make recommendations for increasing minimum contribution levels to at least 12% of qualifying earnings, including how and when this change should be made, and how it should be divided between worker and employer contributions.
  3. Make additional recommendations to improve the situation of older savers who have less time to benefit from an increase in contribution rates.

Steering group

This work was supported by a steering group of industry experts: Andy Cheseldine, Partner, LCP; Cormac O’Dea, Associate Director, Head of Consumption and Saving, IFS; Darren Philp, Director of Policy and Market Engagement, the People’s Pension; Tim Sharp, Policy Officer, Economics and Social Affairs Department, TUC; Andy Tarrant, Head of Policy and Government Relations, the People’s Pension; and Carol Young (Chair), Head of Pensions and Benefits, RBS.

Hymans Robertson

The PLSA worked in collaboration with Hymans Robertson using their Guided Outcomes ® methodology to undertake the modelling for this work. With special thanks to Chris Morton and John Taylor for their dedication to this project.


We commissioned the PPI to undertake a segmentation analysis of ONS’ Wealth and Assets Survey. A report detailing their approach to this analysis can be found here.

You can view the press release that accompanied the publication of this report here .

You can view the methodological annex accompanying this report here .