Making informed decisions about how to best use your savings and manage your income in retirement

More than one in four Britons (27%) expect to come under pressure to lend their family money from unlocked retirement pots when the new pension freedoms are introduced from 6 April this year, according to latest research from the Centre for the Modern Family.

The report, Forever Young: The New Landscape of Later-Life Planning from the Scottish Widows think tank, revealed that the new pension reforms could have a knock-on effect on intergenerational finances, with more than one in five people expecting to use pension savings to fund care costs of elderly relatives (23%) or to invest on behalf of the wider family, for example, in a property for children (22%).

Managing savings more effectively

Almost one in four believes the reforms will enable people to manage savings more effectively. However, they are outnumbered by the two in five (39%) who worry that the reforms could mean not having enough money for the whole of their retirement. Added to this picture is an increasing life expectancy.

Despite feeling the pressure to give up their retirement savings, more than a third of people (38%) say they don’t know or haven’t thought about how they will survive financially in retirement. Almost one in five (17%) intend to rely on state support, which may leave them without the means to secure their financial future in later life.

Budget reforms most acute for full nesters

The effect of the Government’s pension reforms may have a greater impact on particular groups, especially those with adult children still living at home, or ‘full nesters’, who have been identified as a particularly financially strained group.

One in four full nesters think they will come under pressure to use pension savings not spent on an annuity to fund care costs of elderly relatives (25%), compared to 19% of empty nesters. Full nesters were also the most likely to feel under pressure to use their retirement savings for investments on behalf of the wider family (25%).

Almost a third of full nesters (29%) expect retirement savings to be used for loans to other family members, compared to 27% of empty nesters.

Family give and take

The report also found families are pulling together to support one another at different stages of life, and parents are increasingly looking to their children to plug the gap that loans and investments from an unlocked pension pot may leave in their retirement savings. 40% of people feel that support from children in later life is repayment for what they have provided, and 41% also believe that children have an obligation to support their parents.

These attitudes are particularly prevalent among young people – 55% of boomerang kids and 59% of individual renters believe children have an obligation to support parents in later life. While on average just one in five (18%) expect to support their parents financially in later life, this rises dramatically to 40% among those currently renting with friends.

Support not limited to financials

This support is not limited to financials however, with more than a third (39%) expecting to care for their parents (62% for boomerang kids) and 12% expecting parents to live with them (18% for boomerang kids).

The reforms to the pension system announced in the 2014 Budget are transforming the retirement landscape. Although for many they will represent greater autonomy over how to use their savings in later life, it is important to consider the knock-on effects on families.

Many may feel pressure to access their pots to support struggling family members in an already challenging economic environment.

INFORMATION IS BASED ON OUR CURRENT UNDERSTANDING OF TAXATION LEGISLATION AND REGULATIONS. ANY LEVELS AND BASES OF, AND RELIEFS FROM, TAXATION ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

A PENSION IS A LONG-TERM INVESTMENT. THE FUND VALUE MAY FLUCTUATE AND CAN GO DOWN. YOUR EVENTUAL INCOME MAY DEPEND UPON THE SIZE OF THE FUND AT RETIREMENT, FUTURE INTEREST RATES AND TAX LEGISLATION.

Source data:

The research was completed by YouGov and the findings are based on 2,082 online interviews with a nationally representative sample of adults aged 18 and over living in the UK. The interviews were conducted between 28 April and 1 May 2014.