United Kingdom

Life milestones prompt employees to save for retirement

July 2017


Nearly half of employees are only prompted to save for their retirement due to a major life milestone such as getting married, turning a certain age or starting a family, new research has found.

In its latest report, Successful retirement: healthy ageing and financial security, which polled 14,400 employees and 1,600 retirees across 15 countries, Aegon identified a global trend among employees who put off saving for retirement until forced to do so by certain events or life milestones.

31 per cent said they were prompted to start to save for retirement when they reached a certain age, whilst 16 per cent said starting a family prompted them to save for retirement. 10 per cent said getting married prompted them to start saving and 41 per cent only began saving due to employment-related reasons including their employer paying into their retirement plan (17 per cent), being auto-enrolled into a workplace retirement plan (15 per cent) or their employer offering matching pension contributions (12 per cent).

Sarah Hamilton, senior DC consultant at Aon Employee Benefits said: "It's human nature to put things off until motivated to take action. The key is for employers to identify these triggers and use these to help encourage employees to save more towards retirement. Using 'nudge' technology and offering financial education at key points in an employees' working life can be a powerful way to prompt employees to review if they are saving adequately."

The research also found a correlation between employee health and their retirement income predictions. 49 per cent of global respondents who described themselves as in good health said they felt confident of having a comfortable retirement, compared to just 7 per cent who felt they were in bad health but still believed they would have a comfortable retirement.

In addition, of the 57 per cent of respondents who believed they would continue to work during retirement, 32 per cent of global respondents cited anxieties about finances and income.

When asked about workplace pension provision and accessibility, there was a generally positive reaction to digital solutions. Of the 12 per cent of global respondents who can view and manage retirement savings digitally through workplace pension platforms, 72 per cent described it as "extremely helpful".

Meanwhile, 37 per cent said they'd like to receive financial incentives for focusing on health and wellness to improve their health outcomes.

Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon commented: "Finding ways to develop good savings habits and to maintain a healthy lifestyle from an early age are key factors for a successful retirement. Those who adopt multiple healthy activities are also more likely to be financially prepared for retirement than those who don't."

Hamilton added: "The link between financial, physical and mental wellbeing is widely acknowledged and therefore the evolution for more forward-thinking employers is to join up their approach in this area. Aon has recently produced a Wellbeing Whitepaper 'Wellbeing: Examining the correlation between employee health and financial wellbeing' which examines this link in more details and provides examples of what employers can do to help improve their employees' health and financial wellbeing."



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