Savers need to build up more funds to secure a decent standard of living in retirement.

An independent pensions body has updated its calculations on how much money people need to fund a basic, moderate or comfortable lifestyle in retirement. Rising food and energy costs, plus the fact more people want to socialise with family and friends post pandemic, has pushed up the cost of a ‘moderate’ retirement by £8,000, to £31,300 a year – with couples looking at a combined cost of £43,100 a year.

As the name suggests, this is not funding a life of luxury. The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) says this covers one week-long holiday in Europe each year, running a small car and modest amounts for socialising, alongside essential bills.

Moderate retirement costs increase most

The costs of ‘minimum’ and ‘comfortable’ lifestyles have also increased – although not by as much in percentage terms. The PLSA estimates an individual needs £14,400 a year to fund a basic lifestyle and £43,100 for a more ‘comfortable’ retirement. These are estimates, and individuals’ spending requirements will vary. But the numbers can be useful as part of a wider pension planning process. Remember, not all this cost needs to be met by private pensions, as from April this year those qualifying for the full state pension will get £11,502 a year, although that alone is not enough to meet basic living requirements according to these calculations.


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