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Retirement savings rates to remain stable in next decade, says FSA

Two thirds of families approaching retirement hold some form of cash savings products and 38 per cent have an investment product, according to research by the FSA.

The regulator’s consumer research into asset ownership, portfolios and retirement savings arrangements found there are “unlikely to be any big changes in the market for financial products amongst retirees over the next 10 years”.

It shows the proportion of families holding tax-privileged accounts increased between 1995 and 2001, before flattening off with around two-in-five families aged between 40 and 69 now holding an account.

The FSA says: “The characteristics of those holding savings and investment products are not significantly different now from what they have been over the last decade. Higher income individuals, those who are more highly educated, own their own home, have higher levels of wealth overall and who have a private pension are all more likely to hold savings products and investment products.”

The research shows that holdings of investments were most prevalent in the late 1990s and very early 2000s. But since 2001 fewer families with members aged between 40 and 69 have held any sort of investments.

The FSA says: “Investment ownership may well have been driven up in the late 1990s by building society demutualisations, many of which happened in 1997, and events affecting the stock market in 2001 may well explain much of the decline in investment ownership after this date.

“There is some evidence of individuals moving away from holding investments at older ages, with the prevalence of such assets declining after about age 55 or 60.”

The regulator adds that home ownership rates among current retirees are high and it expects them to remain high over the next ten years.

The research states: “ Many trends that have been going on in the last few decades, such as the move away from defined benefit pensions, will take a long time to fully feed through into retirees’ retirement resources and so they will not show up as differences between cohorts separated by a period of merely ten years.”

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