Prospect of paying mortgage from pension 'now a stark reality for many people'

Only 56% of respondents to a recent survey said they expect to be mortgage free when they retire, it has emerged.

The study conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes on behalf of Friends First revealed 9% saying they would be mortgage free about five years after they retire.

Some 13% reported that they currently rent and would continue to do so, with the remaining 17% responding that they didn’t know.

Pensions & investments director at Friends First, Simon Hoffman, said: "Looking back, I think there has always been a realistic ambition, for most people, to be mortgage free when they retire.

“We assumed that if we worked hard, we would have a retirement free from the shackles of a mortgage or other financial concerns.

“However the stark reality is that almost half will have to continue to pay a mortgage when they retire and they need to act now to ensure they can continue to make those payments.

“In order to do so people need take more control, to understand their financial commitments post retirement, and to start funding it now”.

According to Friends First, 44% of adults personally hold a private pension, rising to 53% who have either a pension themselves or have a spouse with one. However almost half (47%) do not have any personal provision for their retirement.

Of those who do not have a pension, only four in 10 people see getting a pension as a priority and while this is growing, 1 in six still rule it out.

Of those without a pension, 78% are not confident of having sufficient income when they retire and only three in 10 believe they could comfortably live on the current State Pension of €238.30 per week, with those living in Dublin being particularly vulnerable in this area.

Speaking to the employers' group IBEC last night, the Taoiseach announced that all workers will be auto-enrolled into a pension scheme in just over three years' time.

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