Is There Good Life after Retirement?; PERSONAL FINANCE - the Independent View

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), March 19, 2003 | Go to article overview

Is There Good Life after Retirement?; PERSONAL FINANCE - the Independent View


Byline: Mark Williams

OW is not a good time to be thinking about retirement, according to Mark Williams ofJohn Meredith Williams &Partners, who have three offices on Anglesey.

Mark says research carried out for the industry reveals that 16 million people face financial hardship in retirement, with as few as 29pc classed as `comfortable' once they start to draw their pensions.

He also reports that research conducted by IFAPromotion, the financial advisers' tradebody, puts the retirement savings `black hole' at pounds 66bn,and estimates that six out of 10 adults need to save an extra pounds 2,000 a year to fund their retirement plans.

Comments Mark: ``Clearly, then, there a regrounds for concern. But pension experts point out that this is no overnight phenomenon. The pension crisis has been brewing for a number of years,althoughfew would deny it is now coming to a head.

``Unfortunately there is no single cause and no quick fix. The problems faced by so many people when it comes to funding their retirement stem from a number of demographic,economic and social factors.''

Mark says changing working patterns, especially in the past 20 years,areone issue. Fewer have a job for life and with it the gilt-edged retirement benefits that came in return for loyalty toalarge organisation.

Even in the public sector - one area whereagood pension was an important part of the package-- more workers are on contract, and this can result in fewer years' contributions or even to no access to the workplace pension at all.

And in the private sector, more people work for themselves or for smaller companies that do not have large formalised pension schemes or contribute to retirement funds on behalf of workers.

He believes the funds saved by many members of private pension schemes have come under pressure from declining share prices. Two groups have been hit especially hard; those in the run-up to retirement but who still have most of their pension funds in equities, and people attracted to private pensions for the first time by the stake holder pension initiative. …

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