Financial crisis hits Britons' retirement hopes

The average Briton now expects to have to work until the age of 63 - a year longer than they thought they'd have to just 12 months ago.

The financial crisis has hit Britons' hopes for early retirement. The average Briton now expects to have to work until the age of 63 - a year longer than they thought they'd have to just 12 months ago, a recent survey from Baring Asset Management revealed. The survey of 2,400 non-retired British adults found that the dire financial events of the last year had dented 18- to 24-year-olds' expectations regarding retirement the most, with people of that age group lifting the age they expect to retire from 61 last year to 63 this year. Across all age groups, expected retirement age rose from 62 to 63 over the year. The research also indicated that, even with these reduced expectations, many Britons are still unrealistic about their retirement plans. Baring's survey found that 35 percent of non-retired British adults have made no pension provision at all - and yet still expect on average to be able to retire at 63. And some Britons are still relying on their properties to fund their retirements, even though prices have crashed by around 15% in the last year alone, according to leading mortgage lenders, and are expected to fall further in 2009. Indeed, 4% of those planning to retire before the age of 50 are counting on income from selling their property to fund 30 years of retirement - given that life expectancy for Britons is now nearly 80. "These figures reveal a worrying trend of UK adults assuming that they will be in a position to retire without having made the necessary arrangements for funding that retirement," says Baring's chief investment officer Marino Valensise. Britons who have contributed to National Insurance during their working lives are currently entitled to a state pension of 91 pounds ($142) per week from the age of 60 for women and 65 for men.