Seven curious facts for Pensions Awareness Day

Today is Pension Awareness Day and, to mark it, Robert Cochran has unearthed seven curious facts to help you convey to potential and existing clients the importance of saving for retirement.


The current annual allowance of £40,000 could buy you one night in The Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons in New York – the world’s second most expensive hotel room in the world (Source: The Telegraph)


The lifetime allowance of £1m in pound coins would weigh 9.5 tonnes (Source:

Age 55

TV presenter Phillip Schofield, who turned 55 earlier this year, is now able to access his pension. He was born in 1962, which is the year the first James Bond film, Dr No, was released (Source: Wikipedia)


The new state pension of £159.55 a week would pay for a flight to New York from Edinburgh with Norwegian Air (Source: The Telegraph)


The eight million people who are now auto-enrolled are equivalent to the population of Papua New Guinea

(Source: Worldometers)


Meanwhile the 12 million people aged 30 to 65 who are not saving for a pension are equivalent to the population of Rwanda (Source: Worldometers)


The average income people aged 22 to 29 expect in retirement – £23,000 – is the minimum salary for a London Bus Driver (Source: City AM)

And speaking of busses, pension experts from Pension Geeks and partners Scottish Widows, Pension Wise and JLT Employee Benefits have spent the week touring some of the UK’s major cities in the blue Pension Awareness Campaign bus. Having already visited Edinburgh, Leeds, Birmingham and Cardiff, they are marking Pension Awareness Day itself on London’s Southbank (Queen’s Walk from 10am to 6pm) to mark the big day.

Automatic enrolment has undoubtedly been a success for millions of UK adults, who have started saving towards retirement for the first time – in fact, since the initiative was introduced in 2012, research by Scottish Widows shows the number of people saving adequately for retirement has increased from 45% to 56%.

Nevertheless, as the level of saving has stalled over the past few years, it is obvious even more needs to be done across the financial services sector to better educate people on the importance of putting away as much as they can towards retirement. In particular, we must better engage with the younger generation through technology and information that can be made readily available and easy to digest.

After all, if you will allow one more bus-related fact, the number of UK adults not saving anything towards retirement would be enough to fill 141,183 double-decker busses – themselves sufficient to stretch bumper-to-bumper from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

Robert Cochran is a pensions expert at Scottish Widows. To find out more about Pension Aware Day, click here