Research show that those in retirement feel that they need an extra £140 per week on average in order to be financially comfortable.

That equates to an extra £7,300 a year or, for the whole ‘retirement nation’ an extra £86 billion per annum.

The Survey, by retirement income specialists MGM Advantage, also shows that the average retired person in Wales thinks they would need even more at an extra £8,835 a year to reach that comfort zone. Scotland had the lowest figure at £5,791.

Sales and Marketing Director of MGM Advantage, Aston Goodey, commented “Financially, these are difficult times for the retirement nation. Inflation has increased the cost of living, while returns on savings have fallen due to the impact of historical low interest rates. This environment makes it even more important that people take the appropriate steps to ensure they maximise the income from their pension and claim any benefits to which they are entitled.”

MGM Advantage therefore recommends that those approaching retirement consider the following when making their retirement decisions:

  • Check direct.gov.uk and claim all the benefits you are entitled to. It appears that there is some £5 billion a year in unclaimed benefits and credits, some of it might be yours.
  • Make sure you check that all your old pensions are up to date. Some people do lose track of occupational pensions when they move from job to job. Some forget a small personal pension they set up and stopped paying into years ago. You can trace old pensions at http://www.thepensionservice.gov.uk/.
  • Check for any old savings accounts using http://www.unclaimedassets.co.uk/
  • When opting for an annuity do not just take the one offered by your pension provider. Under the ‘Open Market Option’ (OMO) you can shop around for a better rate. MGM Advantage’s recent Annuity Index showed that annuity derived income levels could be boosted by as much as 50% when using the OMO.
  • Also with annuities you can get a better rate if your health allows as, to put it bluntly, you may not be around to claim as long and annuity rates do take this into account for pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Get the help of a professional adviser, independent financial advisers can be found at http://www.unbiased.co.uk/.
  • Don’t forget to check out http://www.nsandi.com just in case you have unclaimed NS&I prizes such as premium bonds.

With the continued pressure on annuity rates, people should be shopping around to ensure they secure the best product and rate possible. Many people are unaware they might qualify for an enhanced rate due to underlying medical problems, some as common as high cholesterol or high blood pressure.” Added Aston Goodey.

By region survey responses of the 2,086 UK adults aged 55 years and over (of which 1.262 were already retired) asked were as follows:

Region Extra per week to feel ‘comfortable’ Extra per year to feel ‘comfortable’
East Midlands

£131

£6,839

Eastern

£144

£7,496

London

£168

£8,746

North East

£122

£6,372

North West

£153

£7,959

Scotland

£111

£5,791

South East

£135

£7,028

South West

£139

£7,275

Wales

£169

£8,835

West Midlands

£136

£7,102

Yorkshire

£142

£7,413

All UK people aged over 55

£140

£7,301

Regional sample in Northern Ireland was too small to include

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