Young people in the UK expect to retire before turning 64

·2-min read
A row of piggy banks adorned with the colours of Britain's Union Jack flag
One in five people said that they have no idea when they'll retire, including almost one in four women. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters

On average, young people between the ages of 18 and 34, expect to retire at the age of 63 and eight months, while one in eight are looking to retire by 55, new data has shown.

A survey by Opinium for investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown said that in contrast, those over 55 expect to retire on average at 67 and 11 months, with 20% aiming to stop work after 70.

The current average age of retirement in the UK is 64 years and 8 months. Over the past three years, the age at which older people have expected to retire has increased by 11 months.

In the survey, which interviewed 2,000 people last month, one in five people admitted that they have no idea when they'll retire, including almost one in four women.

Overall, Britons expect to retire at 65 and two months – before their state pension is due to arrive, which is currently at the age of 66.

READ MORE: COVID-19 may have endangered retirement plans of millions of UK workers

Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown said that people have “high expectations of retirement” and that they “may be in for a nasty surprise.”

“We see today's retirees downing tools in their early 60s, picking up their largely defined benefit pensions, and settling in for a comfortable retirement – and we assume we can do this too – at roughly the same age,” she said.

“Unfortunately this is far from true. The vast majority of people paying into pensions today will have far less generous defined contribution pensions, which means we'll retire on smaller, non-guaranteed incomes. If we retire too early, there's a risk we could run low on funds as we go through retirement.

“The horrible truth about our retirement tends to sink in as we get older. Those under the age of 35 have high hopes of early retirement, that gradually recede as harsh reality kicks in, and by the age of 55, on average we expect to retire at the age of almost 68.”

It comes as UK pensioners will receive an increase of 2.5% in their pensions next year as a rise in inflation to 0.5% last week kicked in the “triple lock” mechanism.

Pensioners on the new state pension will see a rise of £4.40 a week to £179.60 while those on the old state pension system will see an increase of £3.40 a week to £137.65.

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