New study reveals how much money people are saving towards their pensions in Norwich

How Norwich compares to other cities in regard to pension savings

How Norwich compares to other cities in regard to pension savings - Credit: Archant

For many young people, saving money towards a pension is rarely seen as a priority.

But new research has found that those already trying to put money aside are coming across numerous hurdles along the way.

The study, published today, revealed that 58pc of people in Norwich believe the cost of living is the main reason they cannot contribute more to a pension.

It also found that the average pension pot size in Norwich is £32,300 – £16,860 less than the average for the UK's other major cities.

Meanwhile, financial experts have said that the challenges faced by today's generation were 'unique' and 'unprecedented', with more young people now having to focus their savings in other areas, such as buying a home.

They believe that people should be attempting to save 12.5pc on their monthly salary towards a pension.

But the survey, carried out by Prudential, found on average that only 5.5p of every pound earned in Norwich went towards retirement.

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And in an online poll on the EDP and Evening News websites, 65pc of the 115 people who took part felt they were unable to contribute enough.

Stan Russell, Prudential's retirement income expert, said: 'Saving for retirement can seem like a luxury when the cost of living is putting household income under pressure.

'However, it is important to remember that pension saving is for the long term and even the smallest amounts saved have the opportunity to grow significantly over your working life.'

The survey focused on the pension pot size of people living in the UK's 17 biggest cities, as well as how much money was being saved from their salary.

In both categories, Norwich was found to be below average. But it still fared better than several other cities taking part.

Brighton scored the lowest in regard to the size of people's pensions, with an average of just £16,400. London, meanwhile, was found to have the highest at £82,000.

The study also revealed that nearly half of all pension savers blamed the cost of living for not being able to save more. Fifty-eight per cent of people in Norwich agreed this was the main reason for their lack of pension savings.

Five top tips on saving for a pension

Aviva's savings and retirement manager, Alistair McQueen, has this advice for those looking to put money by for the future.

1. Start saving today, as the sooner you start the better. There are a number of free online tools for advice, including Aviva's at

www.retirementtools.aviva.co.uk/myfuture/ShapeMyFuture/LandingPage

2. If you are in work, make sure to contribute to the work place pension. For every bit you put in, you also get money from your employer.

3. As a benchmark figure, aim to save around 12.5pc of your salary each month towards your pension.

4. If you have a target date as to when you want to retire, you should start saving 40 years before that date.

5. You amass a pension pot by saving over a number of years. So you should aim to have 10 times your salary by the time you reach retirement.

The expert's view

Today's generation is facing more hurdles than ever when it comes to attempting to save money.

But according to Mr McQueen, more and more are noticing the importance of a pension.

He said people who do not prepare for the future will have to rely on a state pension of just £8,000 a year.

And with the average UK salary of around £26,500, it would be a 'significant' drop in income for many.

But Mr McQueen also noted there were issues faced by young people today that had not been present before.

'The challenges they face are unique and unprecedented,' he said. 'Previous generations could look forward to a job for life, that is no longer the case.

'And students at university will leave with debt which can take up to 11 years to pay off. That's money which could have been used towards a pension.'

Other challenges include the rising cost of housing, with the average price for property in the East of England now at £230,000.

But he said research by Aviva had shown that more people under the age of 30 were now paying into a pension plan.

Mr McQueen added that a 'good rule of thumb' would be to put 12.5pc of your monthly salary into a pension pot.

'At that level, they would have an income in retirement which would equate to about two thirds of their salary,' he said. 'Most academics agree that is a pretty good place to be. But if an individual has not amassed the amount of saving they want, they have to either accept a great fall in income or work for longer.'

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