Average Pension Pots 'Insufficient'

20 October 2014, 05:59 | Updated: 20 October 2014, 06:17

Average pension pots in Scotland will only give people a "comfortable'' retirement income for five years, according to new research.

A study of more than 8,000 savers across the UK found people north of the border are putting aside an average of £2,711.90  a year for when they stop work.

But with most savers in Scotland saying they would need £24,364 a year to have a "comfortable retirement'', people would on average only be able to enjoy this level of income for five years.

The figures were revealed after financial and technological services firm True Potential launched its Savings Gap campaign last year, in a bid to discover how much cash people across the UK are putting away and the preparations they are making for their retirement.

To fund a retirement income of £24,364 a year for 20 years, savers would need to put aside a total of £10,828 a year, building up a total pension pot of £487,280, the research showed.

The average pension savings in Scotland would provide a retirement fund of about a quarter of that amount, with this amounting to £122,036.

When payments are made over 20 years, that would provide an annual income of just £6,102 - a sum on which 4% of savers believe they could live comfortably on.

But Scots are saving slightly more than others for their retirement, with the research showing across the UK people are putting aside an average of £2,671.40 a year.

In Wales people save an average of £2,041.20 to fund their retirement, which would provide them with what they believe would be a "comfortable'' income for 4.2 years. In Northern Ireland savers are putting aside less, making contributions of an average of £1,653.40, which would give them enough funds to live comfortably for 3.5 years.

True Potential managing partner David Harrison said: "These figures show the size of the problem we face as a nation. Britain is sleepwalking towards an impoverished retirement and the reality for many in society today is that they will simply be unable ever to retire.

"That is a scary prospect and we should be in no doubt about the radical overhaul of financial education, regulation and culture that will be required to address this.''

He said across the UK "millions of people will never hit their retirement goals'' and added: "The answer is not to lower our aspirations for retirement but to raise our savings game now as a country.

"That means far better personal finance education and far simpler products that allow savers to assess risk properly and make the right decision for themselves.''