December 2018 newsletter: How the UK Saves

This summer, at the NEST Insight conference, we launched the inaugural edition of How the UK Saves, with our strategic partners, Vanguard.

Many of you will be aware of the great success Vanguard’s Center for Investor Research has had with its other annual publications, How America Saves and How Australia Saves. So when we were offered the chance to get involved with the first edition of How the UK Saves we jumped at the opportunity. We’re always looking for ways to share our data, and the insights they present, widely and freely, and this new publication has been a huge step towards realising that vision.

If you’re yet to read the report, it’s well worth setting some time aside. The analysis of the report spans hundreds of millions of individual data points, making it one of the most extensive studies of retirement savings published in the UK.

Next year, we’ll be working with Vanguard again to publish How the UK Saves 2019, which in particular will provide analysis on the impact of the phased increases in auto enrolment minimum contributions. We also plan to explore some of the findings from 2018’s edition in greater detail:

  • Opt ins: We found that more than 250,000 people chose to opt into NEST voluntarily, and these people tended to be those who are young, female and with very low incomes, and may not have previously been saving for retirement.
  • Women are saving more into NEST than men: While men have more money saved for retirement than women on average, this largely reflects that average female earnings are lower than men’s. When we adjusted for earnings however, the data revealed that women tended to contribute more than men and have higher balances. Women earning £10,000-£14,000 a year for example contributed 26 per cent more, and had balances 20 per cent higher, than men on the same earnings.

Further reading

If you’d like to learn more about the key findings of the report, read our blog, How the UK Saves: sharing insights, and take a look at our press release.