Pensions freedoms: 54% of generation Y want to use pensions pot to get on property ladder

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For immediate release: Wednesday 25 March 2015

  • 58% of 18-35 year olds aren’t saving for their retirement
  • 54% say that they would be more inclined to save into a pension or would save more if they could use their pension pot to fund a first-time property deposit
  • 86% think more education around pensions is needed
  • NOW: Pensions calls for greater flexibility in pensions to encourage young people to save

New research* from workplace pensions provider NOW: Pensions reveals over half (58%) of 18-35 year olds aren’t currently saving into a workplace pension but 54% would start saving or would save more if they could access some of the money to help fund a deposit for their first home. The findings come in light of the Budget pension reforms coming into effect on 6 April which will provide greater flexibility to over 55s in terms of how they access their pension pot at retirement.

The main reason generation Y give for side-stepping pension saving is that they are prioritising saving elsewhere cited by 43% with a quarter (25%) saying that they simply don’t have enough money left at the end of the month. For 14% of those surveyed, their debt is too much of a burden to allow saving.

As a result, nearly two thirds (61%) say they are concerned or very concerned that they won’t have enough money when they retire.

Incentives to save

Over half (52%) of those that don’t currently save would begin doing so if their employer offered a more generous contribution, while four in ten (42%) would start putting money aside if a kick start payment was offered by the government.

One in four (25%) say being able to access savings during times of financial hardship or when facing serious illness would encourage them to save or save more into a workplace pension.

Morten Nilsson, CEO of NOW: Pensions said: “The nature of pension saving is fundamentally changing. With over 55s being afforded greater flexibility with how they access their pension pot at retirement, perhaps now is the time to think about whether more flexibility should be extended to young savers to help incentivise saving.

“With so many pressures on young people’s finances, it’s understandable that pension saving can fall down the priority list.

“The average deposit paid by a first time buyer last year was a staggering £29,218** putting home ownership out of the reach of many. By giving young savers the option to access a portion of their pension fund to get on the property ladder, the government could simultaneously boost pension saving and ease the financial pressure on first time buyers.

“A similar initiative has worked well in New Zealand with savers in the country’s KiwiSaver workplace pension scheme having the option to receive a first home subsidy after 3 years of saving.”

Angus Hanton, Intergenerational Foundation Co-Founder comments: “It seems particularly unfair that young people may have to choose between saving for their old age or buying a home when previous generations could afford to do both.”

Demand for education

Although positive steps have been taken in terms of getting personal finance education introduced to secondary school curriculums, there is a clear need for more education around pensions specifically.

Four in five (86%) 18-35 year olds say more education on pensions is needed with almost a quarter (23%) saying they would be more inclined to save if they had a better understanding of what a pension is. Four in ten (40%) of those who think more education is needed,   believe the responsibility lies with the government to educate them.

–     Ends     –

For further information:

Amy Mankelow
NOW: Pensions
Tel: 020 3640 9075

Valentina Kristensen
Lansons Communications
Tel: +44 207 566 9720

Notes to editors

*Research conducted by Censuswide online between 11 February 2015 and 13 February 2015 with 2,002 UK respondents between the ages of 18-35 years old.
**Halifax First Time Buyer Review 2014

NOW: Pensions @nowpensions

NOW: Pensions is an independent, multi-employer trust serving thousands of employers and hundreds of thousands of employees from a wide range of sectors.

A subsidiary of one of Europe’s largest pension funds, Danish pension scheme ATP, NOW: Pensions offers a simple and cost effective workplace pension solution direct to employers and via advisers and the payroll sector.

In April 2013, NOW: Pensions became the first master trust to attain the NAPF’s new PQM Ready Standard. The benchmark shows employers that NOW: Pensions is a well governed pension scheme with low charges and good member communications.

In January 2015, NOW: Pensions achieved independent assurance of scheme quality in accordance with the new master trust assurance framework AAF02/07 introduced by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) in conjunction with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

The NOW: Pension Trustee Directors, whose role is to safeguard the interests of members, comprises well-known industry figures with different areas of expertise:

  • Jocelyn Blackwell, founding partner Dunnett Shaw
  • Christopher Daykin, former Government Actuary
  • John Monks, member of House of Lords and former General Secretary of ETUC and TUC
  • Win Robbins, former Head of European Fixed Income at Barclays Global Investors
  • Nigel Waterson, former Shadow Pensions Minister

Charges are just £1.50 per month administration charge (reduced administration charge of £0.30 – £1.00 to be applied during auto enrolment phasing for lower earners) plus a 0.3% annual product investment management charge, with no hidden charges.

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NOW: Pensions has a good technical infrastructure combined with a pension product suitable for our team. We couldn’t be happier with NOW: Pensions.
Martin Woods,