57% 'Saving Well For Retirement'

Saving for retirement has hit record levels in Scotland but almost a quarter are still failing to put anything away, according to a survey.

The research found that more than half of over-30s who are working and earning at least £10,000 a year are now saving "adequately'' for retirement.

In contrast, 23% of that group are not saving anything at all and one in five have no savings or investments whatsoever, the report by Scottish Widows revealed.

People were considered to be saving adequately if they were putting aside at least 12% of their income for retirement.

The report found the average proportion of earnings being put away each month rose from 9.1% last year to 10.8%, almost twice the level in 2006.

Outside of pension savings, Scots are saving an average of £131 a month towards their retirement, up 10% from £119 last year.

The study of 562 Scottish adults found that more people are feeling positive about their long-term financial situation, a rise from 36% last year to 44%.

But it also revealed a gap between expectations and reality over retirement income, with the average saver expected to have an annual income of £14,800 in retirement - £8,100 less than the amount respondents said they would need to be comfortable.

Ian Naismith, a retirement expert at Scottish Widows, said: "Since we began our research over a decade ago, a record proportion of people in Scotland are now saving adequately for the future, showing that the unprecedented changes in the pensions industry have gone some way to engage the nation with retirement saving.

"Despite the positive signs, our research shows that confusion remains around how actions today translate into money tomorrow, with many people in Scotland retaining unrealistic expectations about what their income in retirement might be.

"Both the industry and the Government need to continue working together to help people understand the living standard their savings might produce in real and tangible terms.

"Having a plan in place, starting to save earlier and putting aside more for later life will mean people will be better prepared to close the retirement aspiration gap.''

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