Who is responsible for you in retirement?

Michael Bow
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One in two of us think the government is responsible for our standard of living past the age of retirement (Source: Getty)

Despite chancellor George Osborne's strong hint in this year’s Budget that the burden of retirement provision will fall more heavily on savers’ shoulders in future it seems most Brits didn’t get the memo.

A new Ipos Mori poll out this morning reveals one in two of us think the government should ultimately be held accountable for their standard of living past the age of retirement, despite most (80 per cent) believing it is the individual's responsibility to start planning for retirement.

More alarmingly for the pension industry, a further 55 per cent think their pension provider is ultimately responsible for their financial well being in retirement.

The poll, sponsored by Axa Life, also found young people are more likely than most to think the state is responsible for their twilight years, with 60 per cent of people age 20 to 29 years old saying the government bears responsibilty for them past 66.

If that wasn't enough, more evidence of Brits’ aversion to financial planning came with figures from Royal London, illuminating so-called funeral poverty, where people in or at retirement do not have enough cash to pay for their funeral. The fresh study, by Censuswide Research, found 60 per cent of people over the age of 50 had no plans in place to cover the cost of a funeral while 43 per cent have not yet thought about it.

The chancellor was keen to stress in his Budget statement in March the freedom soon-to-be pensioners will have from next April (2015), when savers can withdraw as much of their pension savings pot as possible, instead of buying an annuity.

But the surveys, which questioned around 1,000 UK adults in each poll, stands in stark contrast to what the government hopes to convey: clearly there is more to do.