Retirement plans not matching reality

MOST young adults are targeting their late 50s for early retirement, even though the majority do not have a pension in place.

Almost 60% of respondents to a new survey of 24- to 34-year-olds by financial services firm Zurich Ireland — formerly Eagle Star Life — said they don’t yet have a pension, but still said they would see 58 as being the ideal average age to retire.

The survey, which Zurich said shows “a clear reality divide” between the retirement aspirations and financial planning needs of young people, discovered that most in the 24-34 age category class as “average” the level of how well informed they are about their financial planning.

“The survey results illustrate that many young Irish adults are leaving it very late in life to begin contributing to a pension. It is unrealistic to think that you can begin a pension at the age of 36 and still be able to retire at young adults’ perceived ideal age of 58,” said Zurich pensions director Brendan Johnston.

“It is important for this generation to plan for their future and realise the actions they take now will have a major impact on the standard of life they will be rewarded with at retirement age.

“There is clearly a reality divide between what young adults want in terms of their future aspirations and what they are doing now to achieve that,” he said.

“In reality they believe that they won’t actually be able to retire until the age of 63. They, therefore, have a five-year gap to fill.” “Of those who have a personal pension, the average age of starting to contribute was 30 — having begun their pensions at this age this group seem to be in a better position than many to realise their retirement goals,” said Mr Johnston.


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