RETIREMENT LIVING STANDARDS

FIND YOUR RETIREMENT LIVING STANDARD

Using independent research carried out by Loughborough University on behalf of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, these living standards provide a benchmark level of annual income to show what life in retirement could look like for you. Take our questionnaire to find out if you’re on track for the retirement lifestyle you want.

  • ITEM MINIMUM MODERATE COMFORTABLE
    Overview

    £22,400/year

    Covers all your basic needs, with some left over for fun

    £43,100/year

    More financial security and flexibility

    £59,000/year

    More financial freedom and some luxuries

    House DIY £100 a year to maintain condition of your property £500 a year to maintain condition of your property, £300 contingency £600 a year to maintain condition of your property, £300 contingency
    Food & drink Around £95 a week on groceries, £50 a month per couple on food out of the home, £30 a month per couple on takeaways Around £100 a week on groceries, £60 a week per couple on food out of the home, £20 a week per couple on takeaways, £100 a month to take others out for a monthly meal Around £130 a week on food, £80 a week per couple on food out of the home, £30 a week per couple on takeaways, £100 a month to take others out for a monthly meal
    Transport No car, £15 per week for the couple on taxis, £100 per year per person on rail fares 3 year old small car, replaced every 7 years, £20 a month on taxis per household, £100 a year on rail fares per person 3 year old small car, replaced every 5 years, £20 a month on taxis per household, £200 a year on rail fares per person
    Holidays & leisure A week long UK holiday. Basic TV and broadband plus a streaming service A fortnight 3* all inclusive holiday in the Med and a long weekend break in the UK. Basic TV and broadband plus two streaming services A fortnight 4* holiday in the Med with spending money and 3 long weekend breaks in the UK. Extensive bundled broadband and TV subscription
    Clothing & personal Up to £630 for clothing and footwear each year Up to £1,500 for clothing and footwear each year Up to £1,500 per person for clothing and footwear each year
    Helping others Twelve gifts of £20 for birthdays and the same amount for 12 Xmas presents. £50 per person a year for charity donations Twelve gifts of £30 for each birthdays and the same amount for 12 Xmas presents, £200 per household a year for charity donations. £1,000 for supporting family members e.g. paying for grandchildren activities, treats, trips etc Twelve gifts of £50 for each birthdays and the same amount for 12 Xmas presents, £25 per person per month for charity donations. £1,000 for supporting family members e.g. paying for grandchildren activities, treats, trips etc
ITEM MINIMUM MODERATE COMFORTABLE
Overview

£14,400/year

Covers all your basic needs, with some left over for fun

£31,300/year

More financial security and flexibility

£43,100/year

More financial freedom and some luxuries

House

DIY £100 a year to maintain condition of your property

Some help with maintenance and decorating each year

Replace kitchen and bathroom every 10/15 years

Food & drink

Around £50 a week on groceries, £25 a month on food out of the home, £15 per fortnight on takeaways

Around £55 a week on groceries, £30 a week on food out of the home, £10 a week on takeaways, £100 a month to take others out for a monthly meal

Around £70 a week on food, £40 a week on food out of the home, £20 a week on takeaways, £100 a month to take others out for a monthly meal

Transport

No car, £10 per week on taxis, £100 per year on rail fares

3 year old small car, replaced every 7 years, £20 a month on taxis, £100 per year on rail fares

3 year old small car, replaced every 5 years, £20 a month on taxis, £200 per year on rail fares

Holidays & leisure

A week long UK holiday. Basic TV and broadband plus a streaming service

A fortnight 3* all inclusive holiday in the Med and a long weekend break in the UK. Basic TV and broadband plus two streaming services

A fortnight 4* holiday in the Med with spending money and 3 long weekend breaks in the UK. Extensive bundled broadband and TV subscription

Clothing & personal

Up to £630 for clothing and footwear each year

Up to £1,500 for clothing and footwear each year

Up to £1,500 for clothing and footwear each year

Helping others

£20 for each birthday and Xmas present. £50 a year charity donation

£30 for each birthday and Xmas present, £200 a year charity donation, £1,000 for supporting family members e.g. paying for grandchildren activities

£50 for each birthday and Xmas present, £25 per month charity donation, £1,000 family support

 

*The figures shown are the amounts of annual expenditure required to achieve the living standard (ie they are not gross income figures).

GET TO KNOW THE DETAILS

These examples are based on independent research carried out by Loughborough University, on behalf of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association.

  • MINIMUM

    A ‘minimum’ lifestyle covers all your needs, with some left over for fun and social occasions. You could holiday in the UK, eat out about once a month and do some affordable leisure activities about twice a week.

    MODERATE

    A ‘moderate’ lifestyle provides more financial security and more flexibility. You could have one foreign holiday a year and eat out a few times a month. You’d have the opportunity to do more of the things you want to do.

    COMFORTABLE

    A lifestyle that allows you to be more spontaneous with your money. You could have a subscription to a streaming service, regular beauty treatments, a foreign holiday and several UK minibreaks a year.

  • MINIMUM

    Bills and home contents insurance paid, with a budget of £100 a year for DIY decorating and maintenance. Economy brand appliances.

    MODERATE

    Boiler servicing and cover plan. £500 a year for decorating and maintenance with some professional help.

    COMFORTABLE

    Boiler servicing and cover plan. £900 a year for professional decorating and maintenance. Weekly lawn cutting and occasional help with gardening and occasional deep cleaning.

  • MINIMUM

    An inexpensive meal out once a month, as well as one or two cheaper takeaway meals. Approx £50 weekly food shop at a mainstream supermarket, with mainly supermarket own label goods. A £5 bottle of wine every week, a glass of wine with your meal out of the home once a month.

    MODERATE

    Dine out at a restaurant about once a week, as well as weekly takeaway meals. Approx £55 weekly food shop at a mainstream supermarket with 50% branded goods. A £8 bottle of wine and 3 cans of beer a week. Take family members out for a monthly meal.

    COMFORTABLE

    Dine out at a restaurant weekly, as well as weekly takeaway meals. Approx £70 weekly food shop at a mainstream supermarket with 50% branded goods. A £10 bottle of wine and 3 cans of beer a week. Take family members out for a monthly meal.

  • MINIMUM

    Use your free bus pass for most journeys, and £10 per week per household for taxi journeys. Approx £100 a year for rail journeys for visiting friends and family, using senior rail card.

    MODERATE

    A single car per household (three years old, replaced every 7 years). One or two longer distance train journeys to visit friends and family. £20 per week per household for taxi journeys.

    COMFORTABLE

    A 3 year old small car replaced every five years. £200 a year for longer distance train journeys to visit friends and family plus a railcard. Taxi journeys of £20 a month per household.

  • MINIMUM

    About £500 for a one week, half-board coach holiday, plus approx. £100 spending money. Basic TV and broadband, plus a streaming service subscription. £20 a week for two or three leisure activities.

    MODERATE

    Approx £1,400 for a 14 night holiday abroad each year in 3* hotel and a long weekend in the UK with B&B accommodation. Basic TV and broadband plus two streaming services, and two or three weekly activities (e.g. cinema, swimming) totalling £40 per week.

    COMFORTABLE

    A 14 night 4* half board hotel break abroad, for around £2,000 and 3 long weekend breaks in the UK. Extensive bundled broadband and TV subscription. Three weekly activities (e.g. cinema, gym class) totalling £50 per week.

  • MINIMUM

    Approx £460 a year on clothes and £170 for shoes. Up to £40 hair dressing every six weeks, NHS dental care and mid-range glasses.

    MODERATE

    £1,000 a year on clothes and £500 for shoes. Up to £100 hair dressing and £50 beauty treatments every six weeks, NHS dental care and mid-range glasses.

    COMFORTABLE

    £1,000 a year on clothes and £500 for shoes. Up to £100 hair dressing and £60 beauty treatments every six weeks, NHS dental care and mid-range glasses.

  • MINIMUM

    About £20 each for 12 birthday and 12 Christmas gifts a year.

    MODERATE

    About £30 each for 12 birthday and 12 Christmas gifts plus £1,000 a year for helping family members e.g. paying for grandchildren activities, clothes, school trips etc.

    COMFORTABLE

    About £50 each for 12 birthday and 12 Christmas gifts plus £1,000 a year for helping family members e.g. paying for grandchildren activities.

PICTURE YOUR FUTURE AND WHAT IT COULD COST

The examples below are based on information provided by the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, based on independent research carried out by Loughborough University. 

  • Isaac

    Isaac

    Earns: half median income throughout his life.

    A total of 8% of his salary each month is going into his DC pension, which is the amount many people save under Automatic Enrolment. This is likely to get Isaac beyond the minimum standard. He’d have the security of knowing all his bills were covered, and could afford some leisure or social activities. He could also enjoy some of the benefits of a moderate standard, like more money to spend on gifts or a TV subscription package.

    Saving 8%, and a full state pension, would give Isaac an annual retirement net income of around £16,700*

    * This assumes Isaac’s salary rises in line with general earnings increases. If he changes jobs, gets promoted, or finds a job with a better salary, and continues to save for his retirement, he can expect a better standard of living. The retirement income figure includes the new state pension 2024-25 of £11,500. Figures are provided for illustrative purposes.

    Source: modelling by the Pensions Policy Institute, 2023.

  • Rosa

    Rosa

    Earns: median income throughout her life.

    A total of 8% of her salary each month is going into her DC pension, which is the amount many people save under Automatic Enrolment. This is likely to get Rosa well past the minimum standard on the way to the midpoint between the minimum and moderate. She’d have the security of knowing all her bills were covered and could afford some of the benefits of a moderate standard, like more money to spend on leisure or social activities.

    Saving 8%, and a full state pension, would give Rosa an annual retirement net income of around £18,000*

    If Rosa increased her total contributions to 12% she could enjoy even more aspects of the moderate standard such as a higher food budget or helping out family members. Saving 12% and a full state pension, would give Rosa an annual net income of around £20,400*

    * This assumes Rosa’s salary rises in line with general earnings increases. If she changes jobs, gets promoted, or finds a job with a better salary, and continues to save for her retirement, she can expect a better standard of living. The retirement income figure includes the new state pension 2024-25 of £11,500. Figures are provided for illustrative purposes.

    Source: modelling by the Pensions Policy Institute, 2023.

  • Jerome

    Jerome

    Earns: median income throughout his life.

    A total of 8% of his salary each month is going into his DC pension, which is the amount many people save under Automatic Enrolment. This is likely to get Jerome beyond the minimum standard on the way to the midpoint between the minimum and the moderate. He’d have the security of knowing all his bills were covered, and could afford some leisure or social activities. He could also enjoy some of the benefits of a moderate standard, like more money to spend on leisure or social activities.

    Saving 8%, and a full state pension, would give Jerome an annual retirement net income of around £18,400*

    If Jerome increased his total contributions to 12% he could enjoy even more aspects of the moderate standard such as a higher food budget or helping out family members. Saving 12% and a full state pension, would give Jerome an annual net income of around £21,100*

    * This assumes Jerome’s salary rises in line with general earnings increases. If he changes jobs, gets promoted, or finds a job with a better salary, and continues to save for his retirement, he can expect a better standard of living. The retirement income figure includes the new state pension 2024-25 of £11,500. Figures are provided for illustrative purposes.

    Source: modelling by the Pensions Policy Institute, 2023.

  • Nicole

    Nicole

    Earns: twice median income throughout her life.

    A total of 8% of her salary each month is going into her DC pension, which is the amount many people save under Automatic Enrolment. This is likely to get Nicole well past the minimum standard and almost at the midpoint between the minimum and moderate. She’d have the security of knowing all her bills were covered and could afford some of the benefits of a moderate standard, like more money to spend on leisure or social activities.

    Saving 8%, and a full state pension, would give Nicole an annual retirement net income of: £20,000*

    If Nicole increased her total contributions to 12% she could enjoy even more aspects of the moderate standard such as a higher food budget, running a car, a holiday abroad or helping out family members. Saving 12% and a full state pension, would give Nicole an annual net income of around £25,100*

    * This assumes Nicole's salary rises in line with general earnings increases. If she changes jobs, gets promoted, or finds a job with a better salary, and continues to save for her retirement, she can expect a better standard of living. The retirement income figure includes the new state pension 2024-25 of £11,500. Figures are provided for illustrative purposes.

    Source: modelling by the Pensions Policy Institute, 2023.

  • Ben

    Ben

    Earns: twice median income throughout his life.

    A total of 8% of his salary each month is going into his DC pension, which is the amount many people save under Automatic Enrolment. This is likely to get Ben well past the minimum standard and almost at the midpoint between the minimum and moderate. He’d have the security of knowing all his bills were covered and could afford some leisure or social activities. He could also enjoy some of the benefits of a moderate standard, like more money to spend on leisure or social activities.

    Saving 8%, and a full state pension, would give Ben an annual retirement net income of: £20,000*

    If Ben increased his total contributions to 12% he could enjoy even more aspects of the moderate standard such as a higher food budget, running a car, a holiday abroad or helping out family members. Saving 12% and a full state pension, would give Ben an annual net income of around £26,500*

    * This assumes Ben’s salary rises in line with general earnings increases. If he changes jobs, gets promoted, or finds a job with a better salary, and continues to save for his retirement, he can expect a better standard of living. The retirement income figure includes the new state pension 2024-25 of £11,500. Figures are provided for illustrative purposes.

    Source: modelling by the Pensions Policy Institute, 2023.

Sabrina

Sabrina

Earns: half median income throughout her life.

 

A total of 8% of her salary each month is going into her DC pension, which is the amount many people save under Automatic Enrolment. This is likely to get Sabrina beyond the minimum standard. She’d have the security of knowing all her bills were covered, and could afford some leisure or social activities. She could also enjoy some of the benefits of a moderate standard, like more money to spend on gifts or a TV subscription package.

Saving 8%, and a full state pension, would give Sabrina an annual retirement net income of around £16,500*

* This assumes Sabrina's salary rises in line with general earnings increases. If she changes jobs, gets promoted, or finds a job with a better salary, and continues to save for her retirement, she can expect a better standard of living. The retirement income figure includes the new state pension 2023-24 of £10,600. Figures are provided for illustrative purposes.

Source: modelling by the Pensions Policy Institute, 2023.

  • Esther & Idris

    Esther & Idris

    Earns: both on half median income throughout their lives.

    A total of 8% of their salary each month is going into their DC pension, which is the amount many people save under Automatic Enrolment. This is likely to get them past the midpoint between the minimum and moderate. They’d have the security of knowing all their bills were covered, and could afford some leisure or social activities. They could also enjoy some of the benefits of a moderate standard, like more money to spend on gifts or a TV subscription package.

    Saving 8%, and a full state pension, would give Idris and Esther a combined annual retirement net income of around £33,200*

    * This assumes Idris and Esther’s salary rises in line with general earnings increases. If they change jobs, get promoted, or find a job with a better salary, and continue to save for their retirement, they can expect a better standard of living. The retirement income figure includes the new state pension 2024-25 of £11,500. Figures are provided for illustrative purposes.

    Source: modelling by the Pensions Policy Institute, 2023.

  • Josh & David

    Josh & David

    Earns: both on twice median income throughout their lives.

    A total of 8% of their salary each month is going into their DC pension, which is the amount many people save under Automatic Enrolment. This is likely to get them close to the moderate. They’d have the security of knowing all their bills were covered, and could afford some leisure or social activities. They could also enjoy many of the benefits of a moderate standard, like running a car, a holiday abroad or helping family members.

    Saving 8%, and a full state pension, would give Josh & David a combined annual retirement net income of around: £40,000*

    If Josh and David increased their total contributions to 12% they would be fairly close to the comfortable standard and could enjoy most aspects of the comfortable standard such as a higher weekly food budget, a holiday abroad, long weekends away or helping out family members. Saving 12% and a full state pension, would give Josh and David an annual net income of around £53,100*

    *This assumes Josh and David’s salaries rise in line with general earnings increases. If they change jobs, get promoted, or find a job with a better salary, and continue to save for their retirement, they can expect a better standard of living. The retirement income figure includes the new state pension 2024-25 of £11,500. Figures are provided for illustrative purposes.

    Source: modelling by the Pensions Policy Institute, 2023.

Daniel & Aisha

Daniel & Aisha

Earns: both on median income throughout their lives.

A total of 8% of their salary each month is going into their DC pension, which is the amount many people save under Automatic Enrolment. This is likely to get them well over the midpoint between the minimum and moderate. They’d have the security of knowing all their bills were covered and could afford some leisure or social activities. They could also enjoy many of the benefits of a moderate standard, like more money to spend on gifts or a TV subscription package.

Saving 8%, and a full state pension, would give Daniel and Aisha a combined annual retirement net income of around: £36,400*

If Daniel and Aisha increased their total contributions to 12% they would be fairly close to the moderate standard and could enjoy even more aspects of the moderate standard such as a higher food budget, a holiday abroad or helping out family members. Saving 12% and a full state pension, would give Daniel and Aisha an annual net income of around £41,500*

*This assumes Daniel and Aisha’s salary rises in line with general earnings increases. If they change jobs, get promoted, or find a job with a better salary, and continue to save for their retirement, they can expect a better standard of living. The retirement income figure includes the new state pension 2024-25 of £11,500. Figures are provided for illustrative purposes.

Source: modelling by the Pensions Policy Institute, 2023.

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YOUR FINANCIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

YOUR FINANCIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

Everyone's financial circumstances are different. These living standards provide a rule of thumb guide based on common costs for many people in retirement.

For many people their private and state pensions, plus other savings, could go a long way towards meeting these costs. However you may need to factor in other costs depending on your circumstances, such as mortgage, rent, and any social care costs. You should also keep in mind that pension income is subject to income tax.

Pensions are a long-term investment. The retirement benefits you receive from your pension plan will depend on a number of factors including the value of your plan when you decide to take your benefits which isn’t guaranteed and can go down as well as up. The value of your plan could fall below the amount(s) paid in.