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Most Brits in favour of lowering retirement age

A majority (69%) of UK workers have said the retirement age of 66 should be lowered, according to a new survey from investment comparison site Interesting Reviews.

The survey also found 71% of people believed it is harder to retire in the UK now than ever before, as 62% said their pension is simply not enough to retire comfortably on.

Lily Megson, policy director at My Pension Expert, said lowering the pension age could leave some with less financial security in retirement. 

Speaking to HR magazine, she said: “On the one hand, people's calls to lower the retirement age is understandable. It likely reflects their longing to enjoy a well-deserved retirement after decades of hard work and saving. 

“However, a lower retirement age does not automatically equate to a comfortable retirement for all. Some find it challenging to make ends meet even at the existing retirement age, particularly when we consider the current challenges presented by the UK’s economic environment.”

Read more: Pension auto-enrolment at 18 supported by young adults

Over a third (34%) did not know exactly how much money is in their pension.

Megson said employers need to help employees understand their financial prospects in retirement.

She said: “It is vital that employees have access to the right support to help them understand their financial situation, and the action needed to pursue the retirement they want, when they feel ready. 

“This support could come in many forms. For example, employers would be wise to make their employees' information more readily available to encourage proactive engagement. 

“They could even go a step further and point them in the direction of affordable independent financial advice to help employees achieve their retirement goals.”

Read more: Single mothers missing £852 million in pension contributions

The study found 43% of respondents would consider working in a different sector if it meant greater employer pension contributions, while 56% said they are unable to make as many pension contributions as they would like to. 

Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon said that rather than lowering the pension age, employers and employees can use alternative measures to make pensions work better for them.

Speaking to HR magazine, she said: “A better approach may be to build up other savings, for example in ISAs, alongside pensions, which can be accessed at any time. Some employers offer workplace ISAs.  

“Employers could also do more by paying contributions above the auto-enrolment minimum and matching employee higher pension contributions.”

The survey asked over 2,000 users their opinions and attitudes towards retirement, pensions and investments.