• 16% have greater consideration for how much money they need to live on due to high inflation, 11% due to rising interest rates
  • 21% of younger Brits are thinking more about their financial futures because of high inflation, 15% because of interest rates
  • Standard Life analysis highlights benefits of investing from an early age - starting pension contributions aged 22 could mean £114,000 more in retirement than starting aged 27

With slowly improving economic conditions forecast for 2024, following two years of high inflation alongside rapidly rising interest rates, it’s personal finance issues that are high on the agenda of many Brits. New research1 from Standard Life’s Retirement Voice report reveals that more people – particularly younger adults – are now beginning to think about their financial future and are turning their attention to their retirement finances.

More than one in seven (16%) said that rising inflation has prompted them to take more of an interest in how much money they’ll need to live on in retirement, while 11% said increasing interest rates have encouraged them to think about this too.

Younger generations in particular have now started thinking about their future finances, 21% because of inflation and 15% because of interest rates. This is promising, as Standard Life analysis shows that engaging with your financial future from an early age and giving yourself a head start with pension contributions could pay off later.

The analysis finds that those who begin working on a salary of £25,000 per year and pay the standard monthly auto-enrolment contributions (3% employee, 5% employer) from the age of 22, could have a total retirement fund of £434,000 by the age of 66, not adjusted for inflation. However, waiting just five years to age 27 to start contributing could result in a total pot of £320,000 – £114,000 less. Waiting even longer could have an even bigger impact on a retirement pot:

Total retirement fund at age of 66*
Started saving for retirement at 22 years old Started saving for retirement at 27 years old Started saving for retirement at 32 years old Started saving for retirement at 37 years old Started saving for retirement at 42 years old Started saving for retirement at 47 years old
£434,000 £320,000 £232,000 £165,000 £113,000 £75,000
  -£114,000 -£202,000 -£269,000 -£321,000 -£359,000

*if beginning working with a salary of £25,000 per year and paying 5% employee and 3% employee monthly contributions into a workplace pension at the age of 22 and assuming 3.5% salary growth per year, a 1% annual investment cost and 5% investment growth per year. No Earnings Limits.

Dean Butler, Managing Director for Retail Direct at Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group commented: “The economic backdrop of the last couple of years has affected most people’s finances with the cost of essentials like food and household bills and higher mortgage, rent or debt repayment costs due to rising interest rates still outpacing income rises for many. This has acted as a stark warning for some Brits who’ve been forced to focus on their finances, both short and long-term.

“Younger generations starting to engage more with their financial futures is perhaps one positive to take from a tough situation, as this could help improve their long-term financial outcomes significantly. Though it can feel daunting to think about the far future, the sooner people start planning for retirement and contributing towards their pension the greater their retirement outcomes can be. Open finance tools, which give people the ability to see all their finances in one place, can help those looking at how to balance short and long-term financial priorities.”




James Ikin
07519 556 776

James Merrick
Standard Life
07974 063 067

Notes to editors:
1 - Boxclever conducted research among 6,350 UK adults. Fieldwork was conducted 26th July – 9th August 2023. Data was weighted post-fieldwork to ensure the data remained nationally representative on key demographics.

* assuming £25,000 starting salary, 3.50% salary growth per year, and 5% a year investment growth. Figures are not reduced to take effect of inflation. Annual Management Charge of 1% assumed. The figures are an illustration and are not guaranteed. Earning limits not applied.

Starting salary £25,000
Starting age 22
Investment growth 5.00%
Employee contributions 5.00%
Employer contributions 3.00%
Salary growth 3.50%
Annual investment cost 1.00%

About Standard Life

  • Standard Life is a brand that has been trusted to look after peoples’ life savings for nearly 200 years
  • Today it proudly serves millions of customers who come to Standard Life directly, through advisers and through their employers’ pension scheme.
  • Standard Life is part of Phoenix Group, the largest long-term savings and retirement business in the UK. We’re proud to be building on nearly 200 years of Standard Life heritage together
  • Our products include a variety of Pensions, Bonds and Retirement options to suit people’s needs, helping our customers to invest and save for their future. We’re proud to offer a leading range of sustainable and responsible investment options.
  • We support our customers on their journey to and through retirement with comprehensive, easy-to-understand guidance so they can invest in the right way for their needs, and plan a future they feel confident about.
  • Standard Life is the proud headline sponsor of Race for Life, Cancer Research UK’s flagship fundraising event series.

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