THE cost of retirement has become so unaffordable that the number of Scots workers over 65 is expected to treble.

New research shows that working Scots predict they will need £400,000 to fund their retirement but workers have typically saved just over £60,000.

Opinium Research carried out the study for the financial services provider OneFamily which reveals that workers above retirement age is set to treble as one in ten (3.9 million) workers say they will have to continue in employment full-time and never retire.

Official stats show that currently around 1 in 33 of the full time working population are above 65.

Age Scotland says it supports midlife career reviews to help people early enough in their working lives to be able to adjust their savings plans properly.

HeraldScotland: The number of pensioners in Scotland is expected to rise by a quarter over the next 25 years, with new official statistics projecting a growing and ageing population.

The researchers said that although the youngest working age adults are those least likely to save, they are also the ones with the highest expectation with 18-34 year olds in the UK saying they will want £36,000 every year in retirement, and require savings of £470,000 when they leave work.

Despite these great expectations, the research revealed that a significant number of working age adults are not saving anything for their retirement with nearly a third (30%) not putting anything away, despite the introduction of auto-enrolment pensions by the government, in an attempt to combat the problem of older people falling into poverty.

One in five of working age adults state they can’t afford to save and one in ten say they simply have not got round to it.

The study also show a significant number of workers uninterested in future planning, as over a quarter of those not saving say they want to spend what they have in the here and now, on socialising, or prioritise luxuries like holidays.

Brian Sloan, Age Scotland's chief executive said most people underestimate what level of savings they would need to live comfortably in retirement.


In particular, they misjudge significant expenses such as home repairs or care costs in later life and fail to account for them properly, he said.

Even with free personal care in Scotland, most people with any savings or assets would face additional bills of around £450 per week for a place in a typical care home, and these fees might be payable for several years.

“Although older people have never been better off in relative terms, much of a typical older person’s wealth is tied up in property and more than half would not be able to meet sizeable unexpected expenses without going into debt," he said.

"Because of their fixed and lower incomes, pensioners are the most likely group to find their debts becoming problem loans which they struggle to repay.

“Even with auto-enrolment pensions up and running, most workers aren’t saving one-tenth of their net income, which financial providers advise as a minimum yardstick. If they cannot afford to increase their monthly contributions, the remaining options would involve accessing capital from their home through equity release or downsizing to a smaller, cheaper house, or keeping on working for longer, if they are able to do so.

"Inadequate saving may become a bigger factor than the increasing State Pension age in the timing of retirement. That’s why we support mid-life career reviews to help people early enough in their working lives to be able to adjust their savings plans accordingly.”