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New report highlights ‘The Death of Retirement’

The Aviva Working Lives report shows workers over 50 are set to retire later than planned

A new retirement report by insurance provider Royal London warns that those entering the workforce now will have no choice but to work into their late 70s in order to retire with a similar pension to their parents’ generation.

The study, titled The Death of Retirement, looks at how long people will have to remain in work to achieve a good quality of life in retirement if they only contribute the minimum 8% level required by the government under the auto-enrolment scheme.

The key findings are:

  • Someone on average earnings targeting the ‘gold standard’ of a total pension of two thirds of their pre-retirement income and securing inflation protection and provision for a surviving spouse would need to work to 77 if they only contribute at the statutory minimum level;
  • Someone targeting the ‘silver standard’ of half their pre-retirement income would need to work to just over 71.

Both cases are based on an employee starting to save at the age of 22 and contributing continuously until they retire. The report also considers people who wait until later in life to start saving and found that those who begin at 35 need to work until 79 if they only contribute the state minimum, while those who wait until 45 wouldn’t be able to retire until well into their 80s to make up for the shortfall.

Even those on high incomes won’t be able to retire until they’re in their 70s on the minimum contribution if they aim to have 67% of their income. The goal of 50% is more attainable, but only if the employee remains in work until 80.

As part of the research, Royal London found employees on average income would need to contribute around 20% of their gross pay to their pension to meet the gold standard, or 11% for silver.

To download the full report, visit