Skip to main content Skip to footer

The PPI is an INDEPENDENT educational, not-for profit research institute. We undertake rigorous research from a neutral, long-term perspective

Reports and Briefing Notes

Retirement income and assets: do pensioners have sufficient income to meet their needs?

Recent pensions policy developments in the UK have mostly focused on the accumulation of assets to fund retirement income, for example, the introduction of auto-enrolment, compulsory employer contributions and personal accounts. There has been some research on the use of assets in retirement, however most of the research has examined particular assets in isolation. There is a need for a holistic consideration of the evolution of financial needs during the course of retirement and the roles that different sources of income and assets could have in meeting those needs, combined, as well as in isolation.

This is the first report in a series investigating the roles of different types of income and assets in helping pensioners to meet their needs for income in retirement. The report identifies the main factors that determine pensioners’ needs for income and considers whether pensioners are likely to have sufficient income to meet their needs and expectations throughout their retirement.

The retirement income and assets series has been sponsored by Age Concern & Help the Aged (Age UK), the Association of British Insurers, The Department for Work and Pensions, the Investment Management Association, JP Morgan Asset Management and Prudential.


Chapter one discusses the most common approaches to measuring pensioners’ needs for retirement income and examines how needs vary across different types of households.

Chapter two analyses the way income needs change for people after SPA, focusing especially on the effects of age and health on income needs. 

Chapter three investigates the main sources of income for pensioners and analyses the implications that different types of income have for the level of income pensioners receive. It examines how income sources change as people age and how sources vary across different household units.

Chapter four uses hypothetical individuals and couples to examine how different baskets of assets and income might be able to fund different needs in retirement.



Executive Summary

Executive Summary

Join our mailing list

Signup to receive all the latest news from the PPI

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Find out more here