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New pensions survey: Nearly half of Europeans not saving for retirement

43% of European citizens are not saving anything privately for their retirements, according to a broad survey by Insurance Europe of 10 000 people across 10 European countries. Of those not saving, 62% say they are interested in saving for retirement. However, 42% of those not saving say they cannot afford to do so.

The survey found that people’s highest priority when saving for retirement is the security of the money they have invested. They also want to be able to increase or stop contributions, to leave savings to descendants and to be able to transfer or access savings easily.

In terms of information preferences, 67% want to receive information on pension products digitally rather than on paper. Respondents are most interested in information about guarantees, as well as costs, risks, pay-outs and investment performance. They are least interested in receiving information on investment strategies, portability and switching.

Regarding how they receive their pension, when no monetary projections were given, 46% of respondents said they prefer an annuity, 30% preferred flexible withdrawals and 19% chose lump sums. However, when projections were given, there was an equal split between those choosing annuities and lump sums.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Nicolas Jeanmart, head of personal and general insurance at Insurance Europe, said: “Given that such a worrying proportion of people are not currently saving enough for their retirement, there is a pressing need to discuss at EU and national level how best to change this. The survey certainly revealed a clear appetite for certain protective features traditionally offered by insurers, such as guarantees. It is therefore crucial that policymakers enable insurers to fulfil their important role in tackling the pension savings gap.”

Published 27 February 2020