State pension warning as Britons told they ‘cannot rely’ on DWP sum for retirement

Retirement expert advises people to learn about state pensions

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State pension payments are vital for millions of older people who have left the workforce. However, the age at which this money can be accessed has risen, and will continue to increase in the future. As a result, it has thrown the reliability of the state pension sum into doubt for older Britons.

A recent report undertaken by the International Longevity Centre UK (ILC), has argued fiscal pressure and demographic trends mean the state pension age timetable must be accelerated.

This could mean the state pension age rises at a faster rate, albeit, with changes occurring gradually. 

And with a review on the state pension age timetable due to report back in May 2023, there could be major implications for retirement. 

Adrian Lowery, personal finance expert at Bestinvest, said: “While it is unlikely that a weakened Tory Government will want to inflict such grim news on some of its core voters, reports like this support the suspicion that the state pension in current form cannot be taken for granted.

“Sooner probably rather than later, a Government will bow to the inevitable and push the state pension age back further and the triple lock is already under intense Treasury scrutiny – something that is not going to relent. 

“All this means that the onus of saving for retirement falls increasingly on the individual and their private pension provisions. 

“And the worth of the current state pension is not to be underestimated.”

With potential future movements of the state pension age, many people are questioning whether they are saving enough for retirement.

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Mr Lowery also touched upon this issue, urging people to consider the matter. 

He continued: “These complex calculations are mired in many variables and unknowns – including now the size and availability of state pensions – and the sums arrived at are often intimidating.

“After all, most people are very limited by their budgets. The simple answer to ‘How much should I save for retirement?’ is: as much as you can sensibly afford.

“One reasonable target to aim for is 12.5 percent of earnings. For those in workplace pensions this might not be as much as it seems. 

“Employer contributions and tax relief, at a minimum of 20 percent, could make up more than half what is paid in.  

“And the power of compound returns – whereby your savings pot grows exponentially on top of what you put in – means that contributions made early in life are far more powerful and valuable than those made later on.”

However, problems may arise for the self-employed, who do not have the benefit of auto-enrolment at their disposal.

Consequently, these individuals will need to take pension savings into their own hands, as soon as possible. 

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Mr Lowery concluded by encouraging people to consider the option of a self-invested personal pension (SIPP).

This is a pension “wrapper” which allows Britons to save, invest and build up a pot of money for retirement. 

The expert said this vehicle can help individuals to make a start on their saving for retirement, which can snowball the longer a person saves. 

Responding to the ILC report, a DWP spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “The state pension continues to provide the foundation for retirement planning and financial security in older age.

“The Government is required by law to regularly review state pension age and recently launched the second state pension age review. 

“The review will consider whether the rules around state pension age are appropriate, based on a wide range of evidence including latest life expectancy data.”

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