The average pension pot for every UK region revealed

Mark James

by , Communications Manager

03 May 2018 /  

03
May 2018

The average pension pot for every UK region revealed
  • Southerners have a pension pot almost twice the size of Northerners
  • Welsh making the most regular pension contributions
  • Northern Irish putting the most into their pension
  • Londoners set to retire on a quarter of their current income

PensionBee has examined a sample of 5,098 savers, looking at how average pot size and pension contributions vary across the country.

According to the analysis the average pot size across the UK is £21,441, although this figure doesn’t appear to be split evenly across Britain’s towns and cities. In North East England the average pot sits at £14,513 - the lowest figure in the study - while in South East England the average is £28,183, making these savers the best provided for in the country.

Region Average pension (£) Sample
England 21,730 4,544
East Midlands 15,531 435
Greater London 24,503 1,605
North East 14,513 303
North West 15,509 492
South East 28,183 991
South West 16,356 393
West Midlands 19,203 325
Northern Ireland 14,796 60
Scotland 21,482 337
Wales 15,473 157
United Kingdom 21,441 5,098

Source: PensionBee. Note many customers will have additional pensions to transfer to PensionBee, but we do not believe this impacts any particular region disproportionately.

The findings provide yet more evidence of a divided nation, with swathes of Northern England netting a pension that’s almost half the size of southern pots.

The North-South split in England also spreads out to the UK’s constituent countries, with Wales (£15,473) Northern Ireland (£14,796) and Scotland (£21,482) all struggling to match southern pots. However, PensionBee’s contribution data suggests that certain regions might still close the gap.

According to their analysis 40% of Welsh customers are contributing every month, making Wales home to the UK’s keenest savers (Appendix A). However, it’s the Northern Irish that lead in terms of contribution size, with savers in this region putting around £310 per month into their pension (Appendix B).

Thanks to these sizeable contributions Northern Irish savers can expect a pot of £144,100 at retirement, an amount that’s only second to the £149,900 savers in the South East can expect (Appendix C). There’s an indication that a big pot won’t necessarily give you the same standard of life in retirement though, as reflected by PensionBee’s replacement ratio research. Despite a potential pot of £135,200, Londoners are set to live on 22% of their current income - the lowest overall percentage in the analysis (Appendix D) – and this figure includes the state pension.

Speaking on the findings Romi Savova, CEO of PensionBee said: “The data clearly shows that the most important part of a pension is how much you put in. The government has made it attractive to save and as an industry we need to do the same, by improving customer service and embracing technology. We’re passionate about taking the lead on this and closing the pension gap across the country”.

Note to Editors

Romi Savova, CEO of PensionBee available for interview or comments.

For more information, please contact:

Appendices

We compared 5,098 individuals with PensionBee pensions, who are broadly distributed like the general UK population between England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, albeit with a slightly higher concentration in London.

The sample includes 1,375 women, representing 27% of the sample and 3,723 men, representing the remaining 73% of the sample. The sample represents an age group of 22-63 years with an average age of 37. The average salary of the sample group is £46,883, so higher than that of the broader UK figure of £30,537, according to figures from Monster.

Appendix A: Average propensity to contribute

Region Propensity to contribute (%) Sample
England 32 4,544
East Midlands 34 435
Greater London 32 1,605
North East 33 303
North West 30 492
South East 29 991
South West 35 393
West Midlands 33 325
Northern Ireland 30 60
Scotland 32 337
Wales 40 157
United Kingdom 32 5,098

Source: PensionBee.

Appendix B: Average gross and net monthly contributions

Region Average net monthly contribution (£) Average gross monthly contribution (£)
England 204 256
East Midlands 98 123
Greater London 227 284
North East 204 255
North West 116 145
South East 282 353
South West 133 166
West Midlands 211 264
Northern Ireland 310 388
Scotland 209 261
Wales 263 329
United Kingdom 207 259

Source: PensionBee. Note we only considered monthly contributions. Total sample size of 546.

Appendix C: Expected pension pot size and annual income

Region Pension pot at age 65 (£) Expected annual income
England 117,300 12,617
East Midlands 64,600 10,577
Greater London 135,200 13,217
North East 102,500 12,017
North West 71,800 10,937
South East 149,900 13,817
South West 77,800 11,117
West Midlands 112,700 12,377
Northern Ireland 144,100 13,577
Scotland 111,900 12,377
Wales 122,800 12,737
United Kingdom 118,200 12,617

Source: PensionBee. We have assumed the pension grows at an annual rate of 5% and that annual charges are 0.7%. Inflation of 2.5% reduces the rate of return. It is assumed that the pot is converted into an annuity at the age of 65 and the annuity rate is 2%. The annuity expense ratio is 4%. We have assumed individuals take their 25% tax free lump sum prior to purchasing an annuity. The full state pension at current levels has been included in the expected annual income.

Appendix D: Average salaries and replacement ratios in retirement, including the state pension

Region Salary (£) Replacement ratio (%)
England 48,344 26
East Midlands 32,303 33
Greater London 60,037 22
North East 37,819 32
North West 39,461 28
South East 54,151 26
South West 32,633 34
West Midlands 39,623 31
Northern Ireland 32,168 42
Scotland 35,427 35
Wales 37,442 34
United Kingdom 46,883 27

Source: PensionBee. Forecasting assumptions as above.

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