Monday 22 October 2018

Half of all workers to still be in debt when they retire

Wrong turn: People protest the housing crisis in a ‘Raise the Roof’ rally in Dublin. Photo: REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Wrong turn: People protest the housing crisis in a ‘Raise the Roof’ rally in Dublin. Photo: REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Half of all workers will still be paying debts in their retirement including mortgage or paying rent.

Research found that some 1.1 million people who are currently working expect to have some debts when they exit the workforce.

The survey from pensions provider Aviva comes as separate research from the Central Bank found that mortgage borrowers are getting older as it takes longer to save for a deposit for a property.

Aviva said that many people would be still making repayments on a mortgage or paying rent after they have retired.

It claimed that there was an increasing threat of retirement poverty for what it labelled "generation debt".

Separate Central Bank research shows that the average home buyer is now four years older than the age of borrowers in the late 2000s.

First-time buyers are now 34 years on average when they get the keys to their own home.

This is up from around 31 back in 2003, according to the Central Bank.

Second-time buyers are 41 on average, up from 38 a couple of years ago.

The Aviva survey found that a third of workers believe they will need to continue to support family members in some way in their after-work years.

The survey of 1,058 people was carried out by Behaviour & Attitude.

The type of support expected is most likely to be paying for education fees.

A further 15pc suggest that they are most likely to support family members by providing a lump sum for a home deposit.

This is particularly the case for those who are living in Dublin.

The findings showed that those between the ages of 25 and 34 are the most worried about meeting their mortgage and rent payments in retirement.

Aviva said this suggests that younger people are expecting to carry debt into their later years.

Only two in five of those aged between 25 and 55 admitted having a pension, which represents a 4pc decline in pension ownership since 2014.

Half of people said they have no private pension, with no likelihood of an alternative household pension source for retirement.

The Government is planning to bring in an auto-enrolment pension system which would see most of those who do not have an occupational pension signed into one.

Auto-enrolment will be introduced on a phased basis from 2022.

It is aimed at low to middle-income earners who do not have private pensions. It will initially apply to 410,000 workers.

It has been proposed that the scheme could see workers contributing up to 6pc of their wages, with that amount matched by employers. The State will contribute €1 for every €3 put in by workers.

The State has been considering a pension plan for low and middle-income earners for 21 years now.

Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty has promised it will be in place in four years' time.

The majority of the respondents to the Aviva survey agreed with the principle of auto-enrolment. When questioned about the appropriate level of salary deductions for auto-enrolment, 3.8pc was deemed to be the most acceptable monthly deduction.

Head of life and pensions at Aviva, Ann O'Keeffe said the survey showed an acceleration of the emerging trend where a significant number of people will still be paying a mortgage or rent in retirement, as well as having the burden of supporting their adult children in retirement.

Irish Independent

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