Young generation not saving enough towards retirement

Sandra Chapman

Sandra Chapman

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The baby boomer generation, of which I am a part, has children of a certain age, 
let’s say around the 40 years mark.

By this time, those children should be well established in their working lives.

Time to put away the pennies

Time to put away the pennies

They are from families which weren’t asked, as they are now, to fork out approximately £9,000 a year to send them to university.

So they will have begun their careers unhindered by massive loans to pay back.

Students back then, though, could get loans to eke out the costs and I remember wondering where all the money went that my two borrowed from the Student Loans Company.

It soon became clear. One son ploughed it into his sailing exploits, the younger one, more of a spendthrift, bought himself a nice guitar and 
probably squandered the rest of it.

All I know is that we picked up the tab and I’m eternally gratefully that it was a mere fraction of what families are facing today to pay for their children’s education.

In that respect, it could be argued, the baby boomer generation of parents got away lightly, though it didn’t seem like that at the time, especially as we were facing mortgage interest rates then running into double figures. They’re nothing like that now. My children were the last of a generation wafting off to university with the state largely picking up the tab for their education.

And if they didn’t appreciate how privileged they were then, they certainly do now.

We, the grandparents of this generation, look on almost aghast at the costs facing them as they, in turn, weigh up the price of sending their children – our grandchildren - to university.

And not only that, unless they have managed to carve out good careers and jobs for themselves, preferably in the public sector, they face losing a large portion of their salaries to provide for pensions in future. Private sector employers in the main pay minimal costs towards providing pensions for their workers.

There hasn’t been such caution in the public sector where, if latest audits of Government accounts are anything to go by, the future cost of funding public sector pensions has mushroomed to £1.5trillion, up 15 per cent on the year before.

Yet public sector employees still think they are hard done by.

It is figures such as these which have led to renewed criticism of the state pension, especially the triple lock aspect of it, where each year it rises by the rate of inflation or 2.5 per cent.

This doesn’t represent a significant rise on the state pensions paid to my generation but it is a hefty increase on the new pension rates for those retiring now which are upwards of £40 higher.

Admittedly, the pension age has risen for the upcoming generation and there is much talk that it will reach 70 years in the next quarter of a century.

This means that the offspring of the baby boomer generation will not be able to lay down the work burden in their 60s unless they’ve done well and saved hard.

There are young ones in my own extended family who wonder if they will ever be able to retire.

The penny has dropped in general with some of this post-baby boomer generation. Others are blaming us for their predicament.

There is a call now for the “triple locked” pensions to be scrapped to prevent the retirement age pushing beyond 70 years.

The other suggestion is that it could be replaced with a less generous “double lock” based on average wage rises and inflation.

Many financial experts insist the younger generation is not saving enough to pay for their old age.

Sadly it’s a generation many of which appears to put a much higher emphasis on having a good time and shopping ’til they drop.