UK employees who retire this year will experience a 46% reduction in their pension income compared to if they had retired in 2007, before the market crash, according to a new report from Fidelity International.
The report—which shows how pension income in the last 10 years has been affected by the financial crisis compared to the previous 10-year period (from 1997-2007)—found that after saving and buying an annuity at current market rates with their pension pot, those retiring this year have suffered a significantly more dramatic pension income loss in the post-credit crunch world than those that retired just before the crunch hit.
The average 2007 retiree had earnings that maintained their buying power, tracking at 0.9% above consumer price inflation (CPI). The opposite is true for 2017 pensioners, with wage growth a full percentage point under the 2.7% CPI.
As a result of lower earnings—and therefore lower contributions—combined with poor stock markets and annuity rates, post-crisis pensioners’ pension pots are three-quarters of their pre-crisis counterparts at an average of £139,110 vs. £180,106, Fidelity determined. When it came to securing guaranteed income, current-year pensioners walked away with only 46% of their buying power.
“This all makes grim reading for the 2017 cohort of retirees, yet it’s important not to abandon hope. In the period since the crisis, the pension freedoms reforms have freed many more people to access their pension pot using drawdown instead of an annuity,” Ed Monk, associate director at personal investing, Fidelity International, said in a statement. “This comes with greater risk, but at least provides an alternative to being locked into low-paying annuities, and gives you greater flexibility over how you manage your income. For those still with some years to go before they retire, there’s a chance to make more of the time available left to save.”
Fidelity International’s comparison chart can be viewed below.