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.

Single

Single

Item Minimum Moderate Comfortable
Overview

£10,200/year

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

£20,200/year

More financial security and flexibility

£33,000/year

More financial freedom and some luxuries

House

DIY maintenance and decorating one room a year

Some help with maintenance and decorating each year

Replace kitchen and bathroom every 10/15 years

Food & drink

£38 weekly food shop

£46 weekly food shop

£56 weekly food shop

Transport

No car

3-year old car replaced every ten years

2-year old car replaced every five years

Holidays & leisure

A week and a long weekend in the UK every year

2 weeks in Europe and a long weekend in the UK every year

3 weeks in Europe every year

Clothing & personal

£460 for clothing and footwear each year

£750 for clothing and footwear each year

£1,000–£1,500 for clothing and footwear each year

Helping others

£10 for each birthday present

£30 for each birthday present

£50 for each birthday present

Couple

Couple

Item Minimum Moderate Comfortable
Overview

£15,700/year

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

£29,100/year

More financial security and flexibility

£47,500/year

More financial freedom and some luxuries

House

DIY maintenance and decorating one room a year

Some help with maintenance and decorating each year

Replace kitchen and bathroom every 10/15 years.

Food & drink

£67 weekly food shop

£74 weekly food shop

£91 weekly food shop

Transport

No car

3-year old car replaced every ten years

Two cars, each replaced every five years

Holidays & leisure

A week and a long weekend in the UK every year

2 weeks in Europe and a long weekend in the UK every year

3 weeks in Europe every year

Clothing & personal

£460 per person for clothing and footwear each year

£750 per person for clothing and footwear each year

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

Helping others

£10 for each birthday present

£30 for each birthday present

£50 for each birthday present

*These amounts would fund this lifestyle for people living outside London.

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

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

A ‘minimum’ lifestyle covers all your basic 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.

About three quarters of employees are likely to achieve at least the minimum standard.


MODERATE

More financial security and flexibility.

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.

Around half of employees are projected to have an income between minimum and moderate.


COMFORTABLE

More financial freedom and some luxuries.

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

About one in six employees are projected to have an income between moderate and comfortable.

MINIMUM

DIY maintenance and decorating one room a year.

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


MODERATE

Some help with maintenance and decorating each year.

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


COMFORTABLE

Replace kitchen and bathroom every 10/15 years.

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

  • Single - £38 weekly food shop
  • Couple - £67 weekly food shop.

An inexpensive meal out once a month, as well as one or two cheaper takeaway meals. A £38 or £67 weekly food shop at a mainstream supermarket, with mainly supermarket own label goods. A £4 bottle of wine and standard lager every week.


MODERATE

  • Single - £46 weekly food shop
  • Couple - £74 weekly food shop

weekly food shop. Dine out at a restaurant about once a month, as well as one or two takeaway meals. A £46 or £74 weekly food shop at a mainstream supermarket with 50% branded goods. A £6 bottle of wine and craft beer.


COMFORTABLE

  • Single - £56 weekly food shop
  • Couple - £91 weekly food shop.

Dine out at a restaurant about once a week, as well as the odd takeaway meal each month. £100 per month to treat others to a meal out. A £56 or £91 weekly food shop with 75% branded goods. An £8 bottle of wine and craft beer.

MINIMUM

No car.

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


MODERATE

3-year old car replaced every 10 years.

A single car per household (three years old, replaced every 10 years). One or two longer distance train journeys to visit friends and family. £10 per week per household for taxi journeys.


COMFORTABLE

2-year old car replaced every five years.

A two-year old mid-range SUV or estate replaced every five years. £200 a year for longer distance train journeys to visit friends and family plus a railcard. Taxi journeys of £10 a week per household. For couples, two cars replaced every five years.

MINIMUM

A week and a long weekend in the UK every year.

About £250 for one seven-night, half-board coach holiday, plus £150 spending money, and a long weekend by rail and B&B accommodation, both in the UK. Basic TV and broadband. £20 a week for one or two leisure activities.


MODERATE

2 weeks in Europe and a long weekend in the UK every year.

About £1,100 for a 7-10 night holiday abroad each year and £200 spending money, and a long weekend in the UK with B&B accommodation. £60 monthly TV and internet subscription, two weekly activities (e.g. cinema, swimming) totalling £35 per week.


COMFORTABLE

3 weeks in Europe every year.

A summer and winter 3* or 4* half board hotel break abroad, for three weeks in total, for around £2,500 a year. Three weekly activities (e.g. cinema, gym class) totalling £50 per week. £60 monthly TV and internet subscription, plus £5.99 for a streaming service.

MINIMUM

£460 for clothing and footwear each year.

£350 a year on clothes and £110 for shoes. £15 dry haircut every six weeks, NHS dental care and mid-range glasses.


MODERATE

£750 for clothing and footwear each year.

£500 a year for clothes and £250 for footwear. £35 cut and blow dry and £10 colour every six weeks. NHS dental care and mid-range glasses.


COMFORTABLE

£1,000 - £1,500 for clothing and footwear each year.

£1,000 a year for clothes and £500 a year for shoes. £75 cut and colour every six weeks. NHS dental care and mid-range glasses.

MINIMUM

£10 for each birthday present.

About £10 each for 12 birthday and 12 Christmas gifts a year.


MODERATE

£30 for each birthday present.

About £30 for 12 birthday and 12 Christmas gifts plus £150 a year for helping the family.


COMFORTABLE

£50 for each birthday present.

About £50 each for individual birthday and Christmas gifts, plus £1,000 a year for helping the family.

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. Retirement income figures shown assume a 4.8% annual annuity from every £1 of pot, accessed at state pension age.

Sabrina

Age: 18
Starting her first job and has no previous pension savings

Example

Issac

Age: 22
Working already but has no pension savings.

Example

Alex

Age: 25
Has been working for years but has no pension savings

Example

Rosa

Age: 25
Rosa has previous DC* pension savings of £8,500

Example

Jerome

Age: 30
Jerome has previous DC* pension savings of £34,000

Example

Daniel & Aisha

Age: 25 & 30
Daniel has previous DC* pension savings of £9,500. Aisha has previous DC pension savings of £30,500.

Example

Esther & Idris

Age: 35 & 35
Esther has previous DB** pension of £2,000. Idris has previous DC pension savings of £36,166.

Example

Josh & David

Age: 45 and 50
Josh has a previous DC* pension of £131,751 and David has a previous DC pension of £149,000

Example

* Defined Contribution
** Defined Benefit (Final Salary)

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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.