Younger generations more likely to use property to fund retirement

Harriet Scott reports...

The UK’s younger generations are three times more likely than their elders to rely on their property wealth to fund retirement.

Research from Canada Life suggested one-in-ten (9%) of 16-54 year-olds expect the wealth stored in their homes to be their main source of income in retirement.

That is triple the number of those aged 55 and over, suggesting those who are yet to reach their final years of working recognise the role that property will play in financially supporting their future.

Canada Life Home Finance head of marketing and communications Alice Watson said: “This openness is likely driven by the reality that many under 50s will receive less generous pensions under their defined contribution scheme, compared to the majority of the older generation on defined benefit plans.

“Notably, the research also illustrates the evolving profile of retirement income, and lends further weight to the argument that equity release is moving into mainstream financial planning.”

The research also suggested around half of under-55s are of the belief their state or workplace pension will provide them with sufficient money in retirement, while just one-in-five (21%) reckon their savings will cover their income needs.

In April, however, HMRC revealed record tax receipts that indicated many people have been accessing their pensions in earnest following the pension freedoms reform in 2015.

As a result, said Canada Life, the 21% appear to be living more in hope than expectation, with research finding that a significant number underestimate their life expectancy, consequently risking a lack of sufficient funds for their retirement.

Watson added: “There is a range of equity release products that can help customers enjoy their later life, from helping clear existing debts to funding lifestyle enhancements.

“That is why we have organised a series of workshops designed to help advisers either become equity released qualified, or to make the most of their existing qualifications.”