A recent survey conducted by Moneybox1 found that a large percentage of people are not currently planning for retirement – and many of them don’t intend to.

Of the people we spoke to, only half have enrolled into a workplace pension scheme, meaning they’ll miss out on all sorts of benefits such as employer contributions – free money! We also found that 57% don’t plan on opening a personal pension, and 36% are not confident they’ll have a comfortable retirement.

We know there are lots of factors that go into a decision not to plan for retirement – but the good news is many of those reasons have simple solutions. Here are five of the most common reasons I hear people aren’t saving for their financial future – and how to work around them.


1. “I can’t afford it.”

We understand that many people are finding it increasingly difficult to budget for pension savings, especially in the context of the current cost of living crisis. If you can, it’s always better to reduce your pension contributions rather than stop them altogether. That’s because you’ll miss out on lots of benefits that work to boost your savings – including pension tax relief, employer contributions, and National Insurance contributions. Plus, your savings will compound or ‘snowball’ over time, so even small amounts invested now have the potential to grow into something bigger in the future.


2. “I’ll have the State Pension.”

Currently, the State Pension is just £11,502 per year. The Pension Living Standards Association says that for a minimum standard of living a single person would need £14,400 per year. That covers all the basic needs with some left over for fun, including a £100 DIY budget, £25 a month on eating out, and a week-long staycation.
While the State Pension will undoubtedly make a big difference to your income at retirement, you should consider how you can create additional streams of income for life after work. A workplace or personal pension offer a tax-efficient way to build up savings for your future.
With a Moneybox Pension, you can:

  • Find and combine your lost pots into one easy-to-manage account
  • Get 25% top ups from the government on your contributions
  • Use free tools like our Pension Calculator to work out how much you should save to reach your retirement goals.

As with all investing, the value of your pension can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and is subject to change. Payments you make into your pension won’t be accessible until the minimum pension age (currently 55, increasing to age 57 from 2028).


Explore the Moneybox Pension


If you need some guidance on where to start when it comes to planning for life after work, here’s how I’m saving for retirement.


3. “It’s pointless – the retirement age is going up.”

The State Pension age is currently 66 and will rise to 67 between 2026-2028. Then it’s scheduled to rise again to 68 between 2044-2046. I have no idea what it will be in 2050. Whether those dates change and what happens beyond that – we can’t know for sure.
The good news is, you can access workplace and personal pensions from age 55, increasing to age 57 from 2028 – although it’s a good idea to only do so if you’re certain you’ll have enough money to fund early retirement. Even more reason to create additional income streams on top of the State Pension!


4. “I don’t want to invest my savings.”

This is a valid concern that many share, but there are lots of things you can do to mitigate risk as much as possible when it comes to investing. Although it’s important to remember that some level of risk is inherent to investing.
Historically, we’ve seen that even after huge market crashes, the market has always recovered and even exceeded performance before dips. So when the market wobbles, often the best strategy is to ride out the rough patches. That being said, we shouldn’t take past performance as a guarantee for future performance and it’s important to remember that investing is all about the long game – you should be aiming to invest for at least five years minimum.

A great way to mitigate risk when investing is to diversify where you put your money. For example, with a Moneybox Pension you can choose to invest in a range of funds which track a diverse portfolio of global companies across different sectors. Plus, you can choose the level of risk you’re comfortable taking from Cautious, Balanced, and Adventurous – so you’re in control.


5. “Anything could happen between now and retirement.”

We can’t predict what lies ahead for your future. But we do know that there are now more than 11 million people who are of retirement age in the UK – that’s 18.6% of the UK population! Not saving for retirement in the chance that you won’t be around isn’t worth the risk of having no savings when you reach retirement age.

If you’re concerned about what would happen to your savings should the worst happen, you can nominate a beneficiary to help ensure your loved ones are looked after. You can do this in-app by heading to Setting > Tap your name at the top of the screen > Beneficiaries.


Important to know
1 Consumer research was conducted by One Poll on behalf of Moneybox from December 29th 2023 to January 9th, 2024. A nationally representative sample of 4,055 adults across the UK participated in the survey.