More than Half in the UK Say Recession Did not Affect Retirement

April 21, 2010 ( - Research by Towers Watson finds that 53% of U.K. respondents say the economic events of the past 12 months have had no effect on their plans to retire.

Sixteen percent say they do not know the effect the recession has on their plans to retire, and 10% report they will retire as planned but have to cut down on expenditures, according to a press release. Twenty-one per cent of private sector employees in the UK believe recent economic events mean they will have to work longer before they can afford to retire.   

Thirteen percent say they will have to work five years longer than planned, 3% more than five years, and 5% throughout their retirement.  

Whether they have to or not, a majority of employees say they will continue working after retirement age:38% for financial reasons, and 31% to stay involved and active. Thirty-two percent say they will not work after retiring.  

The UK survey results show that currently 68% of employees believe they are personally responsible for providing for their own retirement income needs, with 18% saying the responsibility lies with their employer, and 15% saying it rests with the government. However, looking ahead over the next five years, 75% say it will be primarily their personal responsibility with those suggesting their employer is responsible reduced to 15% and those citing the government to 10%.  

Two-thirds of UK respondents (66%) say they would value more regular communications from their employers about reward and benefit programs, and 65% would like greater simplification in how benefit and reward programs are designed and administered.  

The findings are part of the Towers Watson Global Workforce Study 2010, a survey of more than 20,000 private sector employees in 22 countries, including over 1,000 in the U.K.