Daniela Silcock, Head of Policy Research was asked to co-author the Planning and preparing for later life: social survey feasibility study.  This report presents the findings of a feasibility study into how DWP can better understand the ways people plan and prepare for later life.


Substantial changes have been made to the UK pension landscape over the last decade. With an ageing population and workforce, it is important that policymakers have reliable and up-to-date information on people’s behaviours and attitudes towards planning and preparation for later life. A good understanding of how people make work, retirement and pensions decisions is also vital to making a full assessment of recent changes and informing future policy development.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) commissioned NatCen Social Research to conduct a feasibility study into the most appropriate and cost-effective means to get policy-relevant evidence across these areas in the UK.

The report recommends introducing a bespoke, cross-sectional survey of 40 to 75 year olds, repeated every 3 to 5 years. It also looks at other options and makes recommendations to help inform the future direction of research into later life issues concerning:

  • work decisions
  • retirement planning
  • pension saving

Authors: Debbie Collins, Ruxandra Comanaru, Catherine Fenton and Mari Toomse-Smith (NatCen Social Research), Tricia Dodd (freelance consultant), Rosie Gloster (Institute for Employment Studies) and Daniela Silcock (Pensions Policy Institute).

To read the full report, please click here