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West Midlanders least confident about paying for retirement

21 March 2011

People in the West Midlands who have yet to retire are the least confident in England that they will have enough money in their retirement, a newly released survey shows.

Six out of ten (62%) in the region said they are not confident they will have enough money, which was the weakest result of all the English regions, and compares to 55% across Britain.

The figure, from a YouGov survey for the National Association of Pension Funds, also shows that only 44% in the West Midlands who are not retired are planning on funding their retirement with a workplace or private pension. That was the joint lowest result in Britain alongside the North East and compares with 49% across Britain.

And 12% of respondents in the West Midlands said they do not trust financial products. For Britain this figure was 8%, and the West Midlands result was higher than anywhere else.

The results come as a leading politician visits Birmingham today (MON) to discuss the UK's looming pensions crisis with businesses from across the West Midlands.

Former head of the Treasury Select Committee Lord McFall will meet groups of pension funds to see how to encourage saving for retirement, particularly through workplace pensions.

Lord McFall said:

"Half the workforce is staring down the barrel of a retirement spent in poverty, and that's totally unacceptable. We need to find a better way of getting everyone to save for their older age.

"This is a UK-wide issue which we have to tackle before it's too late. But there are some stark indications that the problem is worse in the West Midlands. More people here are worried that they won't have enough money in their retirement, and fewer people are saving into a workplace pension.

"I'll be asking local pensions experts to discuss what we can all do to improve the outlook for retirement saving in the region. Their views and ideas will help build my final report, which I'll put to the Government."

Today's visit is the first regional meeting of a series to be held across the UK over the coming months as Lord McFall gathers evidence for the new Workplace Retirement Income Commission (WRIC) which he is chairing.

Lord McFall will be joined in Birmingham by fellow WRIC commissioner Imelda Walsh, former HR director of Sainsbury's. The private meetings will be attended by several pension schemes from West Midlands businesses, both big and small, covering the manufacturing, automotive, and service sectors.

The Commission is fully independent, and will seek out a wide range of views and research before making its findings public in October 2011. Its final thoughts will be put to policymakers to help the Government meet its coalition agreement commitment to "reinvigorate occupational pensions". The WRIC will not be looking at public sector pensions.

The WRIC will focus on pensions and other workplace savings vehicles. It will ask what barriers to workplace retirement saving exist for both employers and staff, and explore ways of overcoming these.

 

Notes to Editors:

1. Lord McFall is available for interview.

2. Survey figures are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 4177 adults of which 342 were from the West Midlands. Fieldwork was undertaken between 21.01.11 - 24.01.11. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). The full questions and their responses are available from the NAPF press office.

3. The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) will provide the secretarial and financial support to the WRIC. The NAPF is the leading voice of workplace pensions in the UK. We speak for 1,200 pension schemes with some 15 million members and assets of around £800 billion. NAPF members also include over 400 businesses providing essential services to the pensions sector.

4. Learn more about the WRIC here.

 

Contact:

Paul Platt, Head of Media and PR, NAPF, 020 7601 1717 or 07917 506 683, [email protected]