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Retirement hardship widening Pensioners and poverty

Three million more people in the UK now face financial hardship in retirement than they did in 1996, according to research from JP Morgan Fleming Asset Management.

In its annual survey, the Pension Map of Britain, it found the number facing difficulties when they reach retirement has grown from 9.9 million in 1996 to 12.6 million in 2001.

But the number of people facing hardship or poverty in retirement dropped last year for the first time since 1997. In 2000, the figure was 13.3 million but the total has dropped this year by 700,000 this year.

JP Morgan Fleming says that not enough people are making provision for retirement. It says that there are huge shortfalls in pension savings which must be addressed.

The study points out there is a retirement gender gap with fewer women than men facing financial hardship. Fifty-three per cent of men face difficulty while women are slightly better off at 51 per cent.

Pensions product development manager Peter Hiscock says: “The results show the number of those facing hardship in retirement is still grim. The encouraging aspect is the figures are beginning to be reversed, possibly because there are more people in employment and therefore more people beginning to save for their retirement.”

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