Retirement saving in the UK

Our annual publication, Retirement saving in the UK, looks at the pension saving experiences of people who have been enrolled into Nest. With a sample that includes around a third of the UK working population, it’s one of the largest empirical studies of pension saving behaviours in the UK. As part of this series, we’ll also share supplementary reports that shine a spotlight on specific challenges facing defined contribution pension savers. 

Following on from How the UK Saves, previously produced with Vanguard, our third annual report, Retirement saving in the UK 2020 (PDF), examines the savings behaviours of over 9.5 million Nest members between April 2019 and September 2020. During this time, the second and final planned increase in minimum auto enrolment pension contributions took place, increasing total contributions from 5% to 8% of band earnings, and the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in a number of restrictions and national lockdowns which had a significant impact on the saving behaviours and financial wellbeing of people in the UK. In both cases, many observers predicted that significant numbers of people would stop saving for retirement, yet to date our data suggests otherwise.

The story is one of continuity. Even through turbulent times, members have continued to save in the same way, with millions believed to have benefited from the buffering effect of the UK government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). Nest has also continued to provide a safe harbour for members’ retirement savings, with 5 year annualised returns performing above benchmarks (as at 30 September 2020).

If you’re interested in collaborating with us on this research programme, please get in touch: 

Complementary research 

We’re proud to have worked with leading experts at Vanguard’s Center for Investor Research to produce How the UK Saves, a series of annual reports and supplements examining the behaviours, demographics and likely retirement outcomes of millions of UK workers saving with Nest.  

Vanguard has had great success using administrative data from large defined contribution arrangements to explore the experience of people saving in pension systems around the world. Other publications in the series include How America Saves and How Australia SavesVisit to find out more.  

Further resources