A third of over-50s have no private pension

More than a third (35%) of women and a fifth (20%) of men over the age of 50 do not have a private pension, according to new research from SunLife.

A report from the over-50s expert, titled Finances After 50, has also indicated that 33% of over-50s don’t think they have enough money to provide them with a sufficient income for their retirement – with women more worried about not having enough money in later life than men.

The research, which surveyed 3,000 people over the age of 50 about their finances, found that 36% of women over 50 don’t think they have enough money to fund their retirement, with just 13% suggesting they were confident they would have enough to fund a comfortable retirement.

Overall, the vast majority of over-50s thought pensions – state and private – will be the biggest contributor to funding their retirement, with 27% saying they will rely on their partners’ private pension, rising to 30% for women.

However, SunLife’s report indicated many over-50s will look to other sources, with 12% expecting to use “income from work” in later life, and 11% saying they expect to receive an inheritance. Property was also seen as an important source of income for homeowners, with SunLife highlighting that 14% said they planned to downsize and another 6% were planning to use equity release.

SunLife equity release director, Simon Stanney, commented: “It is quite worrying that so many over-50s are not financially ready for their retirement. And while relying on inheritance is risky, looking to property wealth is a viable option for some because there is a huge amount of wealth tied up in properties – particularly amongst older homeowners who have seen huge increases in the value of their properties over the years.

“Downsizing is an option for many, however, most over-55s do not want to move house and this is where equity release could offer a solution because it allows homeowners over 55 to release some of the money tied up in the value of their home without having to move.

“It's tax-free and the money can be used however they wish, including to make their retirement more comfortable.”

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