Cost of moderate standard of living rises by £8,000

Retirement

The rise is primarily the result of increasing food and energy costs, according to researchers

The annual cost of enjoying a moderate standard of living in retirement has increased by £8,000 in a year.

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association’s (PLSA) latest Retirement Living Standards found the price of a moderate retirement for a single person was £31,300 for 2023 to 2024, up from £23,300.

For a couple the cost grew to £43,100, up from £34,000 the year prior.

The rise is primarily the result of increasing food and energy costs, according to the researchers.

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association says a single person needs an income of £14,400, up from £12,800, a 12.5% increase, for the “minimum” living standard in retirement, the report stated.

This is more than the full new state pension, which will rise by 8.5% to just more than £11,500 in April.

This living standard includes nearly £95 for a couple’s weekly groceries, a week’s holiday in the UK, eating out about once a month and some affordable leisure activities around twice a week.

It follows the publication of the state pension age and demographic change report saying the UK state pension age will have to increase to 71 for middle aged workers.

The PLSA headline figures are after tax, so more will be required as pre-tax income.

The “comfortable” standard of living covers energy, food and clothing costs, as well as an annual two-week holiday in Europe and £50 per birthday or Christmas present.

Nigel Peaple, director of policy & advocacy at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, said that the cost of living has put “enormous pressure on household finances” over the last year and this is no different for retirees.

It is important for workers saving for retirement to remember the standards are not prescriptive targets, they are a tool to help you engage with the type of spending you think you will do in retirement and to help you plan for it, he said.

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