Over half of Britain would rather pay for holiday than pension pot

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MORE than half of British workers would rather spend their spare cash on a holiday than save it for retirement, according to a survey from banking group HSBC.

The study will alarm those who believe that Britons aren’t putting enough cash away for old age.

Some 58 per cent of employees in Britain would choose to pay for a holiday over retirement if they could afford to save for only one of these options in a year.

This was a higher percentage than in the other countries surveyed in the bank’s The Future of Retirement report.

In Britain, only 38 per cent of workers are regularly putting money aside for retirement, according to the HSBC study, which is based on data from more than 15,000 people in 15 countries.

Out of the 15 countries surveyed, only Egypt had fewer retirement savers than Britain, with 29 per cent.

The countries with the highest percentage of savers were Taiwan and India with 67 per cent and 62 per cent respectively.

HSBC’s report pointed to data from the United Nations showing that the number of people over 60 would match those under the age of 15 by 2050, with retirees making up around one in five people on the planet.

“People are living longer, through tougher economic times, but expectations about their standard of living in retirement remain unchanged,” Simon Williams, group head of wealth management at HSBC, said. “As a result, millions of people around the world are facing years of hardship after their savings run out.”

Currently, nearly half of workers covered in the HSBC’s survey have never saved towards their retirement.

In Britain, the Government is trying to address the shortfall in pension savings with the launch of an ‘auto-enrolment’ scheme to get more people into a workplace pension.

Automatic pension enrolment came into force in October last year.

Countries surveyed in HSBC’s report, which is published regularly, were Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, the UK and the US.