Young people and retirement: saving for the future

Baker, Karen Jane (2009) Young people and retirement: saving for the future. University of Southampton, School of Social Sciences, Doctoral Thesis , 298pp.


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In the UK, new Government pension reforms aimed at preventing a future of poorer
pensioners represent a continuing policy emphasis on individual responsibility. Two main
elements of the reforms are the introduction of Personal Accounts and a gradual increase
in the age of eligibility for state pensions, from 65 to 68. These reforms will affect young
people in particular. The success of the reforms in preventing a future of poorer
pensioners will require young people to save more in Personal Accounts or alternative
retirement saving vehicles. Young people wishing to retire before the state pension age
will need to save even greater amounts. Despite the implications of these reforms for
young people, retirement saving amongst young people is an under-researched topic.
This research aims to help fill the gap. The research examines retirement saving
behaviour and attitudes amongst young people under the age of 35, using secondary data
analysis of the 2005/6 Family Resources Survey and semi-structured interviews. The
findings are analysed within a framework of structure versus agency. The results suggest
that although the majority of young people have positive attitudes towards retirement
saving, actual pension saving activity depends more on labour market position than on
saving intentions. In terms of access to pensions, young people are structurally
disadvantaged when compared with other age groups, yet the blame for failure to save
falls firmly upon the individual. The policy implications are that Personal Accounts will
increase the level of retirement saving amongst young people, but considerable numbers
of young people with limited access to the new scheme will remain disadvantaged.
Furthermore, very few young people will be able to reach the level of saving required to
retire before the new state pension age. Today’s young people are set to save more and
work longer than previous generations.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences
ePrint ID: 69579
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
January 2009Made publicly available
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2009
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:49

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