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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

One in six believe they will need their children’s money to fund retirement

It has been found that 16% of British parents aged 40 and over believe they will need to rely on their children for financial support in retirement, according to a study from MetLife.

"Role reversal" as parents bank on their children for money ©Shutterstock
"Role reversal" as parents bank on their children for money ©Shutterstock

This is reflected in 30% from this age group admitting to being behind on their retirement saving, and 16% for people aged 55 and over – despite being the first generation to benefit from pension freedoms.

In addition, it was seen that 45% of over-40s worry about the financial risks they have to take to guarantee an income for life, with low long-term interest rates, ongoing market volatility, and narrowing retirement choices putting the squeeze on many.

MetLife UK management director, Simon Massey, said: “It is a bit of a role reversal when it’s retired parents banking on their children for money, and will have an impact on how much the children can save for their own retirement.

“Planning for the long-term and reducing the risk of running out of money in retirement is one of the key challenges for savers.

“Guarantees can help people approach their retirement with greater certainty and confidence, and a guaranteed drawdown solution provides the peace of mind that comes with a guaranteed level of income for life in retirement, while retaining full access to your money. This can help mitigate the risk of needing to call on children’s help.”

The findings come after research from MyVoucherCodes.co.uk showed that British people who do not own homes, and are not part of private pension schemes, could find themselves £252,742.56 short of what they need to pay for life after retirement.

In comparison, German and Spanish retirees can expect to make a surplus of over £300,000 in retirement, with the UK’s deficit thought to be due to its maximum state pension being one of the lowest in Europe, as well as having a relatively high average cost of rent per month.

This is particularly significant considering the head of an independent review of the UK state pension age, Sofia Stayte, announced earlier this month that low levels of private savings could result in the majority of people having to lean on the state for their income in old age.

She said: “One of the most concerning issues is that when we look at analysis 20 years in the future, most people on all income deciles will depend heavily on the state pension because they will not have much private wealth.

"We tend to think about the experience we have had or our parents have had, because this is what we can relate to, but the world in the future looks very different, and even high earners are likely to get the majority of their income in retirement from the state pension."