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Pension pain: The average pension pot of retirees in the UK holds just a quarter of the recommended amount

  • The average pension pot of a retired person in the UK is £69,481, just a quarter (24%) of the recommended retirement total of £285,000.
  • Approximately 9.7 million Brits (18%) either do not have a pension or have nothing saved in their pension.
  • Almost half (47%) of UK adults have stopped paying into their pension at some point.
  • Men have approximately 60% more in pension savings than women on average, with £42,892 compared to £26,691.

22, August, 2023, LONDON –

The average pension pot of a retired person in the UK holds less than a quarter (24%) of the recommended amount for a moderate standard of living, according to personal finance comparison site

The new research found that the average pension pot for a retired person in the UK sits at £69,481, however experts recommend that to enjoy a moderate standard of living from the retirement age of 66, a person should have £285,000 saved in total. This means that the average pension pot of a retired person in the UK holds just under a quarter of the recommended amount to live comfortably.

Almost 1 in 5 adults in the UK do not have any money saved in a pension pot

When asked about how much money was saved in their pension pots, almost 1 in 5 adults (18%) revealed that they either do not have a pension of any kind, or have nothing saved into their pension. This equates to around 9.7 million people in the UK who currently do not have any money saved into a pension.

On the other hand, 58% of adults stated that they do have money saved into their pension. Amongst these people, the average pension pot held £35,357, just 12% of the recommended total of £285,000 for those retiring at the age of 66. A further 16% of people were unsure on how much they have saved into their pension.

The research also revealed that men have around 60% more saved in their pension pot than women, with average savings of £42,892 compared to £26,691.

Almost half of UK adults have stopped paying into their pension pot at some point

Worryingly, the research revealed that almost half of UK adults (47%) have stopped paying into their pension pot at some point, and a further 11% of adults are considering doing so, meaning a total of 58% have stopped or intend to stop pension payments in the UK.

The most common reason cited among those who have stopped paying is due to the rising cost of daily expenses and bills, followed by the rising cost of rent or mortgage payments.

The long-term effects of stopping pension payments can be grave if done for a long period. Due to the effects of compound interest, any amount paid into a pension pot today could be worth thousands more in just a few decades.

As an example, £10,000 paid into a pension pot now, earning an interest rate of 5% per year, would be worth £25,330 in 20 years, £41,259 in 30 years and £67,207 in 40 years.

To see the research in full visit:

George Sweeney DipFA, deputy editor at commented:

“With an ageing population, the figures here are pretty alarming. Unfortunately, this is one area of personal finance where you cannot afford to bury your head in the sand. Living isn’t getting any cheaper, and with the average pension pot being only a quarter of the recommended amount, people need to start taking action. Even worse than the low levels of retirement savings is the significant cohort of people with no pension pots whatsoever.

With serious gaps in retirement portfolios across the country, a degree of ownership is required. However, this doesn’t need to be an uphill battle. There are some straightforward steps everyone can take to close some of these savings gaps. Firstly, paying into a pension as early as possible and aiming for consistency over the years with some form of continuous contributions will greatly impact the final size of the pot at retirement.

It’s also worth ensuring people know how their pension is being invested and whether that strategy suits their timeframe. With many years to go, maximising potential growth is crucial. Finally, it’s always worth keeping track of pots and ideally combining them under one, low-cost roof so that a retirement portfolio can compound with the least amount of negative interference.”


Finder commissioned Censuswide to carry out a nationally representative sample of 2,000 people throughout Great Britain in July 2023, with representative quotas for gender, age and region.

The moderate savings needed for retirement are taken from calculations by Retirement Living Standards and Standard Life.


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