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Reports and Briefing Notes

Retirement income and assets: how can pensions and financial assets support retirement?

This is the third is a series of four research reports on retirement income and assets.  This report ‘How can pensions and financial assets support retirement?’, sponsored by J.P. Morgan Asset Management, considers the role that state and private pensions and other financial assets are likely to play in supporting retirement incomes today and in the future. 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. 

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 report examines the respective roles of state pension, private pension and other financial assets in providing for retirement and explores the effects that reform and changes in private pension provision might have on their future roles.


Chapter one explores the role which state pensions, private pensions and other savings and assets play in providing income to pensioners and examines how these vary between households.

Chapter two explores the potential effects of the reforms on state pensions and discusses how they may change the role that income from state pensions will play in supporting retirement for pensioners in the future.

Chapter three explores the potential effects of changes in private pension provision and discusses how the role that private pension income plays in supporting retirement may change in the future.

Chapter four explores how the baskets of income and assets that people of different income groups have in retirement are likely to change and how the new landscape may affect the choices and risks faced by people with different financial profiles. 

Chapter five analyses the implications that changes in the types of pensions offered by employers may have for the way people convert pension savings into retirement income and the features people might expect from retirement products.

Chapter six explores behavioural, economic and structural factors which affect saving and investment decisions and explores how changes in the pensions landscape and regulations surrounding tax-privileged savings vehicles may affect the choices people make about saving.

Chapter seven investigates how changes in the profiles of people who need financial advice and information may affect what is required from those providing financial advice and information, and discusses current proposals and options for the provision of financial advice and information.



Executive Summary

Executive Summary

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