Study: Millennials and Gen Z failing to prepare for retirement

Study: Millennials and Gen Z failing to prepare for retirement
11 months ago
3 mins read

Brits aged 18-40 are failing to prioritise their pensions, instead investing their hard-earned cash in dream holidays, material goods and property, according to the survey data shared with Finbold by UK’s leading comparison websites for financial services money.co.uk. The findings are based on 2,000 people’s responses undertaken in June 2021.

The new report, which analyses the different money priorities for each generation, has revealed that only Gen X savers (aged 41-56) view pension plans as one of their top three financial priorities.  

Despite being the biggest savers, Brits falling into the Gen Z category (18-24), say that their biggest financial priority is saving for a home, followed by money to spend on material goods, and saving for a dream holiday. 

When it comes to Millennials, holidays are the single biggest priority, with almost 40% of 25-40 year olds saying it was their primary financial focus, followed by money for material goods and saving for a home. 

Cross generation salary priorities (money.co.uk survey data)

Gen ZMillennialsGen X
1. Saving for a home (32%)1. Saving for a holiday (38%)1. Saving for a holiday (41%)
2. Money to spend on material goods (31%)2. Money to spend on material goods (34%)2. Money to spend on material goods (35%)
3. Saving for a holiday (28%)3. Saving for a home (30%)3. Saving for a pension (27%)

According to top financial experts, prioritising an experience or saving for a home is gratifying in the short to medium term – yet failing to invest properly in a pension will result in difficulty later in life. 

James Andrews, personal finance editor at money.co.uk, said:

“Everyone’s financial situation is different, but the earlier you start paying into a pension, the better result you’ll get at retirement. That’s because if you don’t start saving until you’re older, you’ll need to put far more away to catch up – as the money has less time to grow.”

As well as a divide in how each generation prioritises pensions, there’s also a disconnect between how much each generation choses to contribute. 

Overall, Millennials are the least likely to make additional contributions on top of their auto-enrolled amount, with Gen X savers being the most likely to overpay. 

The one thing Brits do agree on, is that the average amount needed for a comfortable retirement is £22,500. 

Here’s an overview of how each generation manages their pensions plan: 

Cross generation pension breakdown (money.co.uk survey data)

 Gen ZMillennialsGen X
Make additional contributions on top of auto-enrol23% 17% 25% 
Opt out of all contributions17% 15%10% 
Don’t know how much they currently pay23% 23% 26% 
Average they believe will be needed per year to live on in retirement£22,612.11 £22,944.41£21,779.23
% who believe this figure is unachievable25%21%26%

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Justinas Baltrusaitis

Justin crafts insightful data-driven stories on finance, banking, and digital assets. His reports were cited by many influential outlets globally like Forbes, Financial Times, CNBC, Bloomberg, Business Insider, Nasdaq.com, Investing.com, Reuters, among others.