Understanding the challenges of saving for retirement through our new research initiative


The goal of this initiative is to foster innovation in the way we meet the diverse needs and wants of savers. The OECD's combination of international reach and pensions expertise is unrivalled, and we're excited to embark on this project with them.

The three-year programme is funded by Standard Life and enables a team of OECD researchers, and policy experts, to explore two of the major challenges facing not just our customers but savers more generally in the UK and worldwide.


Retirement income

Many countries around Europe, South America and Australia are adopting different approaches to retirement income policy and promoting longer working lives.

The retirement income research that the OECD will conduct will examine the challenges in achieving financial security in retirement. The OECD will investigate what innovation is going on around the world to help improve certainty of income and reduce the possibility of running out of money with consideration to the varying and changing needs that people have in retirement. It will assess for example the role of housing as an asset within solution design and different forms of pooling structures for example Collective Defined Contribution (CDC). 


Diversity, equity and inclusion

The diversity, equity and inclusion research that the OECD will progress begins initially with the data from the consumer attitudes survey ‘Bringing retirement into focus: 2021’ where we surveyed nearly 5,000 people across five generations. We found some interesting themes, but we wanted to validate these against other research that exists. The OECD will use data and insights to deepen the focus on specific individual characteristics that may influence their attitudes, decisions and feelings about retirement saving namely gender, culture and ethnicity, and socio-economic background.

The challenges that we are discussing are not new. They are faced by many savers across the world. Many providers have tried to solve this alone. We don’t believe we can. Which is why we wanted to collaborate with an international organisation and bring a global lens to the challenges we are trying to address.

The OECD’s success is down to their ability to bring stakeholders together, to get a better understanding of the issues and challenges, and as a result, help to suggest better ways of addressing them. 

By working together, Standard Life and the OECD feel confident that the research will help to improve solutions and support those saving for and in retirement, not just in the UK but worldwide.

Sangita Chawla, Chief Marketing Officer, has been instrumental in establishing this initiative and will lead the project from a Standard Life perspective, with Dr Pablo Antolin, Head of the Private Pensions Unit, leading from the OECD supported by policy analysts Jessica Mosher and Stéphanie Payet.


“To address the main challenges that ageing societies present for retirement, we need to understand the wide range of views and concerns of the different stakeholders in the world of pensions and retirement. This joint research initiative brings the views and concerns of Standard Life, a key industry player, to the fore and will help us in our role of providing policy guidelines to policy makers worldwide.” - Dr Pablo Antolin, Head of the private pensions unit, OECD



Watch videos


Read reports

OECD Report towards improved retirement savings outcomes for women

OECD Pensions outlook 2022

OECD Diversity, equity and inclusion in asset-backed pensions