It's official: Saving for a house is more important than saving for a pension (to under-35s, anyway)

Emma Haslett
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Get away from that window, ladies - you can't afford it. (Source: Getty)

Remember back in August, when Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane was branded "irresponsible" after he suggested he'd rather invest in property than put money into a pension scheme?

Well, it seems the nation's millennials agree with him, after a study found saving for a home is three times more important to them than putting cash into a pension.

The study, by Nottingham Building Society, found 24 per cent of under-35s say their top savings priority is property - while just eight per cent said pensions are the main focus of their savings.

By contrast, 24 per cent of the rest of the population said their main priority is saving for retirement, while 23 per cent said they're making sure they have cash to hand for unexpected bills.

Meanwhile, a third of under-35s are saving for their first home or to move home, compared with 15 per cent of the population as a whole.

Andy Haldane: Divorced from reality?

Last month Haldane came under fire after he said he'd rather invest in property than put money into a pension scheme.

But his comments were immediately criticised by those in the sector, including former pensions minister Ros Altmann, who said his comments were "divorced from reality" and "irresponsible".

Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Tom McPhail, meanwhile, pointed out it was "probably quite easy for someone with a gold-plated final salary pension to dismiss the importance of saving in a pension for retirement".

"Haldane’s pension benefits are estimated to be worth in excess of £3m, which is not bad going for someone who professes not to even know how pensions work. Perhaps we should take away his final salary pension and just give him another house instead," he added.

You might also like: Pension or property - which is the better option for your retirement?

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