• 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 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.

Gail Izat, Managing Director for Workplace at Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group commented: “It’s been a tough couple of years for people of all ages in the UK, but younger adults have seen some of the worst impacts of rapidly rising prices and interest rates as essentials are likely to form a higher percentage of their monthly spend and their living situations are often more precarious. The fact this seems to have led younger generations to consider their long-term financial planning more is perhaps one positive to take from the situation, as it’s likely to improve their outcomes in retirement.

“Employers and providers have an opportunity to help their younger employees and scheme members continue this trajectory by providing relevant and targeted communications, engaging tools and a focus on financial education and wellbeing, as well as taking a holistic approach to people’s finances – perhaps through use of open finance or helping them with other pressing financial priorities such as buying their first home. The far future can be daunting, but showing how long-term saving is part of a larger whole can help people to visualise their finances in the round and lead to better future outcomes.”




James Ikin
07825 191308

James Merrick
Standard Life
07974 063067

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.
  • The value of investments can go down as well as up and may be worth less than originally invested.

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