Pension Awareness Week: why savers are off track for their retirement goals

Pension Awareness Week highlights why you need to calculate your pension to enjoy the retirement you want

pension awareness week 2021
(Image credit: getty images)

Pension Awareness Week study finds that more of us are looking to enjoy life’s simple pleasures when we retire, rather than going off on a dream cruise, travelling or doing up the house. 

As part of Pension Awareness Week , which runs from13-17 September 2021, research from MoneyHelper found that Generation X said they are most looking forward to trips to the seaside, pints in the pub and coffee with friends in life after work. 

However, Moneyhelper warned that most people may not have enough pension savings to enjoy the social life they desire. A whopping 12 million (88%) have never calculated how much they would need to live the life they want in retirement, and 29% have no idea how much it would cost to socialise when they retire.

According to MoneyHelper, these are the top priorities when it comes to retiring:

  •  A trip to the seaside (42%) 
  •  A meal out in a nearby restaurant (34%)  
  •  A coffee with friends (33%) 
  •  Gardening (32%) 
  •  Entertaining family and friends at home (28%) 
  •  A drink at the local pub (24%) 

To enjoy this wish list as often as they like, MoneyHelper estimates Gen Xers would need £1,013 a year, but the budget for a moderate pension pot would only give you £900 a year - so, you may have to cut back on 33 coffees or nine restaurant meals, for example. 

Only 7% of pension savers in this group are on track for a moderate pension income, according to the International Longevity Centre. 

Carolyn Jones, pensions expert at Money and Pensions Service, said: “Our research has served up a less than tasty truth that many of those currently saving for retirement could face having to cut back on the lifestyle they were expecting. 

“The important thing is, it’s not too late to take action"

Carolyn Jones, Money & Pensions Service

"You don’t have to supersize your pension contributions to get back on track. There are simple steps you can take to give your pension a boost, like visiting the MoneyHelper Couch to Financial Fitness website and giving our pensions ‘Money Milestone’ a go," she added.

The Money Edit has 10 top ways to boost your pensions savings and get a comfortable retirement.

Read how Naomi overhauled her pension savings after projections showed she would only have £50 a month in retirement.

Pension Awareness Week: Pensions Calculator

Take a look at the MoneyHelper’s pension calculator to see how much pension you will get and if you are on track. 

You can also check your state pension at

Read how Georgie Frost has calculated what she needs to save into her pension and why she has prioritised her later life finances.

Kalpana Fitzpatrick
Digital Editor, MoneyWeek

Kalpana is the Digital Editor of sister site MoneyWeek.

She’s an award-winning journalist and author of Invest Now: The Simple Guide to Boosting Your Finances  and a children's book Get to Know Money  - with extensive experience in financial journalism. Her work includes writing for a number of media outlets,  including national papers and well-known women’s lifestyle and luxury titles, where she was finance editor for Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Red and Prima.

She started her career at the Financial Times group, covering pensions and investments.

As a money expert, Kalpana is a regular guest on TV and radio; appearances include BBC One’s Morning Live,  ITV’s Eat Well, Save Well, Sky News and Channel 5's 30 money saving tips series.

She was also the resident money expert for the BBC Money 101 podcast.

A well-known money and consumer journalist, Kalpana also often speaks at events.

She is passionate about helping people be better with their money, save more and be smarter spenders.

Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @KalpanaFitz.