Nine in ten people across the UK are now struggling to make ends meet, with only one in ten saying they don’t have any financial concerns, according to fresh data shared with City A.M. this morning.
The shock figures raise fears around people’s financial future as well as their present as the rising cost of living is a real concern for more than half of the UK with those aged 55 and over more concerned (56 per cent), the research by P&S provider Cushon found.
Rising bills (59 per cent) are the biggest worry for UK adults, with the figure standing at 64 per cent for women and 74 per cent for the 55+ age group. And a third of people are concerned about the spiralling cost of putting petrol or diesel in their vehicle.
Amid these growing concerns, a quarter don’t see how they will be able to pay their bills over the next six months. This figure rises to over a third of 18-34 year-olds.
Cutting back on savings
As a result of the rising cost of living, the UK is cutting back on its savings – more than half admit they are no longer able to save as they want to.
And worryingly more than one in ten say they plan to stop or reduce their pension contributions to save money in the short term – increasing to one in five 18-34 year olds.
The findings increase fears that many across the UK are heading towards poverty in retirement.
Recent research shows that those aged between 50 and 64 have pension savings that are on average 58 per cent short of what they need, adding up to a total annual savings gap of £132bn.
Equally worrying, a recent report by The Centre for Ageing Better highlighted that one in five pensioners, over two million people, are already now living in poverty.
“Things are exceptionally tough right now, and it’s really concerning that the rising cost of living has forced one fifth of 18-34 year olds to plan to either reduce or completely stop their pension contributions,” said Ben Pollard, CEO and founder of Cushon.
Pollard told City A.M. this morning that “many people also don’t realise they can benefit from tax relief on their pension. When you pay into a pension, you effectively get a government bonus of at least 20p for every £1 contributed, and when employer contributions are taken into account, it’s an even better deal.
He pointed out “there are also a wide range of payroll-enabled workplace savings products that can allow people to get more value from their pension. One such solution is salary sacrifice, which is a great way for employers to help their employees save money and make their pay go further.”