Print Share

New research reveals 25% income shortfall for those approaching retirement


Current retirees are satisfied with 47% of pre-retirement income Old Mutual Wealth has today published its first Retirement Income Uncovered report that reveals those approaching retirement are expecting to receive £23,700 per year when they retire. The same survey shows that the average income in retirement today is currently just £19,000 – a shortfall of £4,700 per year, or 25%.

The study also unearths a new magic number for retirement income of 47% of pre-retirement income. On average, people are hoping for around half of their current salary when they retire, and those who stated they were satisfied with their income have achieved 47% of pre-retirement income.

Retirement Income Uncovered looks into the level and source of retirement income for people already retired from full time work, plus those over 50 approaching this crucial part of their financial lives. The report provides the first concise picture of current and changing sources of retirement income, changing attitudes to work in retirement and also levels of satisfaction and understanding of the different sources of retirement income.

Other key findings of the report are:

Retirement reality

  • We expect retirement to last for 21 years
  • 41% of retirees receive less than £15,000 per year
  • There is a £7,000 gap between men and women’s average income in retirement


The changing face of retirement

  • Those approaching retirement are 25% less dependent on a final salary pension compared with retired people
  • Those who have a retirement income goal are 63% more likely to be satisfied with their retirement income than those that do not


Planning pays

  • Those who had a target income in mind before they retired have an additional £157,500 income over the course of an average retirement
  • Retirees who used a financial adviser are more than twice as likely to have a target income in retirement – with an average income of £26,000


The emerging world of pension drawdown

  • Using pension drawdown can reduce the pension pot required by 25% to generate the average income of £19,000
  • Even as income drawdown hits the headlines only 17% claim to have a good level of understanding of it


In addition, the report examines how pensions may contribute less to retirement income in the future with other sources expected to make a greater contribution to those yet to retire – property downsizing contributes an average 2% to those currently retired, yet rises to a 15% expected contribution for those yet to retire.

Carlton Hood, Customer Director, Old Mutual Wealth says: “This survey shows that people approaching retirement are not the ‘bunnies in headlamps’ that many describe.  Far from being frozen in fear, Our study uncovers a pragmatic Britain, that is adjusting expectations and facing up to the challenges of a retirement that people realistically expect to last for more than 20 years.

“Having a target in mind, and seeking financial advice makes a real and positive difference to how much you will have when you retire. More people yet to retire are setting goals and that will make them better off in retirement. People are satisfied if they achieve around half of their pre-retirement income when they retire, so perhaps the general rule of aiming for two-thirds is outdated.

“Retirement income is changing and people are preparing to use many different sources to fund this stage of their lives. The Retirement Income Uncovered report shows that people are adapting their behaviour accordingly and the picture of retirement income in the UK is not as bleak as some would like us to think.”

The complete report, including regional breakdowns of retirement expectations and the potentially positive impact of using income drawdown can be downloaded from


Notes to editors:

Old Mutual Wealth partnered with YouGov to conduct research into the attitudes and behaviours of those currently in retirement or approaching retirement.
The research was carried out via an online survey amongst YouGov’s consumer panel.
The sample consisted of 1,536 UK adults aged between the ages of 50 and 75.
The sample was split up into 5 brackets (50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69 and 70+) with a target quota of 300 participants in the research from each age bracket.
YouGov invited a nationally representative sample to take part within each age bracket

Fieldwork was carried out between 4th July and 10th July 2014.


For more information contact

Tim Skelton-SmithOld Mutual Wealth02380 916 99807824 145

Notes to editors:

About Quilter plc:

Quilter plc is a leading wealth management business in the UK and internationally, helping to create prosperity for the generations of today and tomorrow.

Quilter plc oversees £118.1 billion in customer investments (as at 30 September 2018).

It has an adviser and customer offering spanning: financial advice; investment platforms; multi-asset investment solutions and discretionary fund management.

The business is comprised of two segments: Wealth Platforms and Advice and Wealth Management.

Wealth Platforms includes the Old Mutual Wealth UK Platform; Old Mutual International, including AAM Advisory in Singapore; and the Old Mutual Wealth Heritage life assurance business.

Advice and Wealth Management encompasses the financial planning network, Intrinsic; Quilter Private Client Advisers; discretionary fund management business, Quilter Cheviot; and Quilter Investors, the Multi-asset investment solutions business.

The Quilter plc businesses are being re-branded to Quilter over a period of approximately two years:

• The Multi-asset business is now Quilter Investors

• Intrinsic to Quilter Financial Planning

• The private client advisers business is now Quilter Private Client Advisers

• The UK Platform to Quilter Wealth Solutions

• The International business to Quilter International

• The Heritage life assurance business to Quilter Life Assurance

• Quilter Cheviot will retain its name

This press release is for journalists only and should not be relied upon by financial advisers or customers.

Please remember that past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and investors may not get back any of the amount originally invested. Exchange rate changes may cause the value of overseas investments to rise or fall.

This communication is issued by Quilter plc.  Registered office: Millennium Bridge House, 2 Lambeth Hill, London EC4V 4AJ, United Kingdom. Registered number: 6404270.  Registered in England.