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Act to remedy this sorry state of pension affairs

At least three out of five people face the prospect of relying on just the state pension in their retirement because they do not have a personal or company pension.

Researchduring the course of last year on behalf of the LIA also indicates that over 40 per cent of the public have no investments or other long-term savings, including high-interest bank or building society accounts.

The survey underlines the seriousness of the situation. Too few individuals are making provision for the future.

It also confirms that a major opportunity exists for the financial services industry to convince people of the urgency to make provision for the future – and the earlier the better.

The survey consisted of monthly face-to-face interviews undertaken by MarketMinder.

There was no significant change over the year in the number of personal or company pensionholders.

In January 1997, only around 330, or 24 per cent, of the 1,400 people interviewed who were solely or jointly responsible for financial matters in their household were members of a company scheme. A further 200, or 14 per cent, had a personal pension. In December 1997, the percentages were 23 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.

The survey found a grea ter lack of pension provision among women than among men. The indications are that significantly more than two-thirds of all adult women have not made any financial arrangements for their retirement.

While statistics can always be questioned, the trends are remarkably consistent. It is frightening to think that so many people are likely to be reliant on the state pension.

This currently stands at just £62.45 a week for a single person and £99.80 for a couple, subject to adequate National Insurance contributions.

It underlines the need to bring home the seriousness of the situation, which the LIA continues to do through its Industry Realities campaign.

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