SMALL CHANGES to spending habits, such as cutting down on smoking, drinking, eating out or buying coffee, would help younger workers build up thousands of pounds for their pension, according to a new report.
The National Employment Savings Trust (Nest) said a worker who starts saving at 22 should be able to double the amount of income they receive from a state pension by the time they reach retirement age, even if they only put in the minimum level of contributions to a pension scheme.
The study found a “significant shift” in quality of life among pensioners living on a household income of between £15,000 and £20,000 a year compared to those with less.
Tim Jones, chief executive of Nest, said: “Retirement is now more likely to be a gradual shift than a one-time ‘cliff edge’ event. Many people will have more time to save up and the latest reforms to pensions mean there’s more choice than ever for accessing retirement savings during later life.
“Our findings underline the message that tomorrow’s worth saving for. However people access their retirement savings in future, our research suggests most people will want around £15,000 a year to live comfortably.
“A workplace pension is just one tool in the savings box but, along with a triple-locked flat rate state pension, our report shows it can provide a vital foundation to build on.
“Being able to afford a few extras can make a significant difference in later life. Saving for later life is something we all know we should be doing but it can easily slip to the bottom of the priority list.
“With automatic enrolment most workers will be given a helping hand to get started and, with employers topping up workers’ pots, it will go a long way to improving quality of life in retirement.”
Nest calculated that drinking one less pint of beer a week, working out at home instead of at a gym, taking packed lunches to work and cooking at home instead of eating out or having a takeaway would build up tens of thousands of pounds towards a pension in later life.