UK pensions gap stands at £318 billion, survey reveals

The UK has the largest “pensions gap” in the whole of Europe, standing at an estimated £318 billion annually, according to research released today.

The study by insurer Aviva and professional services firm Deloitte, which looked at the pensions gap across a number of European countries, showed that UK adults need to put away an average of £10,300 every year in order to close the gap.

The pensions gap is defined as the difference between the income needed to live comfortably in retirement and the actual income that individuals can currently expect.

Aviva has appointed Rupert McNeil as its new UK HR director. McNeil joins from Barclays Group, where he has held a number of positions including executive management director within HR and recently, HR director of the global retail and commercial banking division. He will report to Aviva UK chief executive Mark Hodges and become a member of the UK executive team. He will start his role on October 4.

The UK gap of £10,300 per person per year is an average based on the 31 million UK adults who are due to retire between 2011 and 2051.

However, the problem is even more acute for older people who have less time to make good their personal shortfall, Aviva warned. It could also particularly affect those on lower incomes, for whom setting aside money may be more difficult, the company said.

Toby Strauss, chief executive of Aviva’s UK Life division, said that the research should act as a wake-up call for individuals and governments across Europe, particularly in the UK.

“While it has long been said that there is a pensions gap in the UK and beyond, this new study actually puts a figure on the shortfall,” he said. “The findings are startling, with a UK shortfall of £318 billion annually.

“Fortunately it is not too late for people to take action,” he added. “Aviva believes that effective partnerships between the Government and the private sector are crucial to solving this problem.”

In May, separate research revealed that the average UK worker had an “expectation gap” of £50,000 in their pension savings, adding up to a total of £1.2 trillion nationally.

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