Over a third of Europeans not saving for retirement

More than a third (38 per cent) of European citizens are not saving for their retirement, Insurance Europe has revealed.

Its Pan-European Pension Survey, which analysed 16,000 people across 16 countries, found that 34 per cent were in occupational pension schemes, 26 per cent were in personal pension schemes, 14 per cent were in a national product and 4 per cent responded with ‘other’.

Women were less likely to be saving for retirement than men, with 42 per cent of females not saving for retirement compared to 34 per cent of males.

Of those respondents that were not saving for retirement, 30 per cent said it was because they could not afford to, while nearly a fifth (17 per cent) stated that Covid-19 had had a negative impact on their pension savings.

Almost half (49 per cent) of respondents felt that security was a priority for their retirement savings, while 32 per cent cited robustness of their provider as a priority, and 24 per cent cited payment and contribution flexibility.

Meanwhile, one in 10 (10 per cent) felt that sustainable investment was a priority and 14 per cent saw investment performance as a priority.

Insurance Europe’s survey also found that pension savers “confirmed a preference” to receive information digitally, rather than on paper.

In response to the findings, Insurance Europe highlighted the importance of raising awareness of the need to save for retirement and the need to improve levels of financial literacy so people can make good financial decisions.

It also stated that pension policies need to be consumer-centric, and that there was a “clear appetite” for the protection offered by the financial guarantees, annuities and biometric coverage traditionally offered by insurers.

The report noted that there were “significant” differences between countries and, therefore, there was no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to tackle all the challenges.

“As the results of this survey confirm, policymakers throughout Europe already face significant challenges in trying to ensure their citizens have an adequate income in retirement,” commented Insurance Europe head of personal and general insurance, Nicolas Jeanmart.

“If nothing is done, these challenges will only become more severe. It is therefore vital for policymakers to take steps now to enable their citizens to increase their pension savings, and to ensure that the regulatory framework allows insurers to play their role as long-term pensions providers and reflects the real needs of people saving for retirement.”

The surveyed countries were: Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

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