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Reports and Briefing Notes

An analysis of the retirement savers in the Wealth and Assets Survey

The characteristics of savers have evolved alongside the pensions landscape. There have been fundamental changes to the occupational pension scheme landscape in recent time. Private sector employers have tended to withdraw Defined Benefit (DB) schemes and introduce Defined Contribution (DC) pension schemes in their place. This has placed greater uncertainty upon the outcome of retirement saving for individuals with many at risk of under-saving for retirement.

This report details observations drawn upon a segmentation of the saving population. It considers their savings and the expectations of their retirement saving. The population is derived from the Wealth and Assets Survey (WAS) Wave 4 dataset which covers survey data from interviews from 2012 to 2014. The population had originally been segmented for work commissioned by the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) to inform their report Retirement Income Adequacy: Generation by Generation (PLSA 2016).


Chapter one explores data related to pensions savings of working age individuals who are either employees or self-employed.

Chapter two considers the other forms of wealth individuals have accumulated by the segmentation. This wealth could potentially be harnessed to supplement income in retirement, for instance through selling assets or drawing income against housing equity.

Chapter three considers the attitudes towards saving within the population considered, taken from the Wealth and Assets Survey (WAS).


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