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Issue:- 29 July 2009


NEW research from Baring Asset Management (Barings) reveals that an incredible 18.7 million people (53% of the UK’s working population) have no idea when they will be able to retire which Barings believes is likely to be a direct result of the recession. This compares with just 368,000 working Brits who were unsure of when they would be able to retire in the same survey last year. The news comes as the government announces it may scrap rules allowing employers to force staff to retire at 65.

Particularly vulnerable are those nearing retirement who are now facing pension shortages as result of a number of factors, notably the recent crisis. A staggering 69% working Brits aged 65 and over have no idea when they will be able to start their retirement. This compares with just 3% from the same age group last year.

Another group who have become far less certain about their expected retirement age over the past year is those aged 25 – 34. In 2008, everyone in this age range had a specific age in mind for when they planned to retire whilst this year, 46% are unsure of when they will be in a position to stop working.

Increasingly fewer people expect to be able to retire at the UK retirement age of 65, let alone take an early retirement. The number of people looking to retire at the UK retirement age has halved since 2008 from 40% to 20%, or 7 million people. The number of people expecting to retire between 50 and 55 has dropped steadily since the research began in April 2007. More than 4 million people (9%) expected to be able to retire early in 2007, this dropped to just 2.6 million (8%) in 2008, and a further half a million people have given up the dream of retiring before 55 according to the latest figures with just 2.1million (6%) planning to finish working by 55.

The research also shows that only 47% (16.447 million) of the UK population expect to be able to retire before the age of 70. This compares to a staggering 93% (or 32.752 million) of Britain’s working population in 2008.

Marino Valensise, Chief Investment Officer at Barings, comments:- “There is an urgent need for people to re-assess their pension provisions to ensure that when the time comes to retire, their pension pot is sufficient to support them when. We urge people to seek financial advice to help them make suitable financial plans.

The research is also a reality check for young people to start planning for their retirement as soon as possible. At this time in their lives they can afford to go for a high risk / high reward investment strategy, such as exposure to emerging markets, as they take a long-term view. As so many people are finding now, it is too late to build up a nest egg in your sixties and even fifties. For people further down the line, it is vital to diversify assets, for example using a multi-asset strategy, in order to maintain a sound risk level but also achieve your investment objectives.”

Drink drive message hits harder with women

RESEARCH by women’s car insurance specialist, Diamond has revealed the anti-drink and drive message has got through to most women motorists, but has failed to get through to quite as many men.

The study of more than 3,000 motorists has shown more than 6 out of 10 women would only feel safe to drive having consumed no alcohol at all, compared with just 4 out of 10 men.  Around a 3rd of women would consider driving after 1 or 2 units compared to almost half of men, and just 2% of women would risk drinking more than 2 units of alcohol and driving their car, against 12% of men.  Not a single woman questioned would consider herself safe to drive after 5 units or more, but 1% of men said they would feel safe to get behind the wheel of a car.

To encourage both men and women not to drink when driving, Diamond has teamed up with Browns Bar & Brasserie to create an exciting non-alcoholic cocktail which is free for designated drivers. The new Diamond Fizz, a fruity and refreshing blend of elderflower, apple, lime and ginger ale, is perfect for those who are driving.

Diamond managing director, Sian Lewis, said:- “The results show that the anti-drink drive message does seem to have hit home with women and most aren’t taking the risk, but with long summer nights there is a temptation to have one drink even if you’re the designated driver.

Everyone’s tolerance to alcohol depends on a range of factors and we would rather all drivers have nothing at all to drink and that’s why we’ve teamed up with Browns to offer the Diamond Fizz free for designated drivers.”

Women’s choice to not drink at all when driving translates into drink driving convictions as well. Diamond’s research also shows that male motorists are three times more likely to have a drink drive conviction than women.

A complimentary Diamond Fizz mocktail is available free for the designated driver in the group with the purchase of any full price cocktail from Browns menu. Simply download a voucher at the Diamond Best Friends Club ( or the Browns website (

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