Capital IdeasTM

Investment insights from Capital Group

UK retirement income: are consumers overconfident?
Philip May
Director of Retirement Income Solutions

UK retirement drawdown is turning out to be one of the most significant opportunities for growth in this decade. With industry experts forecasting a £500bn market by 2031, this is likely to be an area of intense focus for UK financial services providers.

With an ever-increasing number of UK retirees dependent on Defined Contribution (DC) pensions to some extent, it is vital to understand the needs of this group, along with the financial advisers who serve them.

Capital Group has commissioned leading financial research specialist NMG to explore attitudes to retirement income from consumer and adviser perspectives, and the programme consisted of qualitative discussions and quantitative surveys. The research focused on attitudes and behaviours around pensions and decumulation, as well as product and fund preferences for retirement income.

Our research took place at a time of transition from the post-GFC era of low inflation and interest rates to a new and potentially more unstable era of higher inflation and higher (but arguably more normal) rates. This shift has benefits for those in or approaching retirement such as higher annuity rates and bond yields but also presents challenges, seen so far in the form of increased market volatility and higher correlations between asset classes.

In this paper, CG’s Director of Retirement Income Solutions Philip May outlines the key findings, including a potentially significant mismatch between the level of income people believe they will need in retirement and their discretionary spending plans. This explains why advisers rate “unrealistic client expectations” as the number one issue facing them in retirement advice today.

Given this background, it is surprising more advisers have not properly embraced the concept of the Centralised Retirement Proposition. There does, however, appear to be an increasing realisation among advisers that investing in retirement and for retirement need to be approached differently.

Philip May is a director of Retirement Income Solutions at Capital Group. He has 42 years of investment industry experience and has been with Capital Group for 16 years. He holds a master’s degree in modern history from Oxford University and is a Fellow of the Chartered Securities Institute. Philip is based in London.


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