UK pensions: One in five Brits expect to retire after their 70th birthday, and it's stressing people out

Hayley Kirton
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Those who worry about working longer may find themselves in store for health woes too (Source: Getty)

We hope you enjoyed your bank holiday weekend but don't get too used to the downtime – a study out today by Willis Towers Watson has found that one in five (21 per cent) Brits don't expect to retire until after their 70th birthday.

Not to be too big a bearer of bad news but the study also discovered that those who envision celebrating their 71st birthday at their office desk are also less likely to reach a ripe old age, as it's taking a toll on their health.

More than half (51 per cent) of those who said they were not planning on retiring until they were 70-plus also reported having high or above average stress levels, compared to just a third (36 per cent) of those who are planning to clock out at 65.

Meanwhile, almost a third (30 per cent) of those who thought they would retire post-70 described themselves as being in fair or poor health, compared with just 16 per cent of those who believe they'll retire at 65.

"These new figures put into sharp focus the worries that British workers have about their long term savings and financial security in old age," said Fiona Matthews, managing director of LifeSight, Willis Towers Watson's master trust. "This is already causing stress and having a negative impact on their health.

"Although employment levels are good and wages are rising, many employees are worried about long term financial stability."

Read more: Why millennials really do need to start saving now

However, some British workers are feeling a little bit more optimistic about their golden years, with 37 per cent predicting they'll retire before they're 65, up from 29 per cent in 2013.

Research released last month by Prudential found that 51 per cent of those who are currently planning to retire this year have either already reached state pension age or would consider working beyond that age.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, when the Department for Work and Pensions announced that it would be launching a review into state pension age, Hargreaves Lansdown warned that some of today's younger workers might have to wait until their mid-70s before they could hope to draw a state pension.

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