Slipping between the cracks? Retirement income prospects for Generation X

Slipping between the cracks? Retirement income prospects for Generation X

Having joined the job market too late to benefit from final salary pension schemes, yet too early to benefit from auto-enrolment into a workplace pension, many Gen Xers (those born between 1965 and 1980) face inadequate retirement incomes if policymakers fail to respond promptly.

This report, based on a nationally representative survey, finds that:

  • Nearly 1 in 3 Gen Xers risk reaching retirement with inadequate incomes.
  • 1 in 5 Gen Xers are saving less or spending down their savings as a result of COVID-19.
  • The majority of Gen Xers (57%) want to save more for retirement but can’t as they straddle multiple financial pressures, volatile incomes and competing priorities.

To help this group set to retire over the next 10-27 years, ILC and Phoenix make several recommendations aimed at:

  • Supporting Gen Xers to save more through interventions such as increasing current default contribution rates (for employees and employers).
  • Supporting extending working lives, including by requiring employers to make all job arrangements flexible by default so that employees can alter their working patterns throughout their lives.
  • Addressing the needs of particularly disadvantaged groups, such as: renters and first-time buyers; the self-employed; careers; low earners; and people from minority ethnic communities.

An independent ILC report, produced with the support of Phoenix Group.

Authors: Sophia Dimitriadis, Patrick Swain and Professor Les Mayhew