Many pensioners regret not building their nest eggs sooner

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Warnings about the need for people to start saving for their pensions as soon as they can are nothing new – but the latest call to action comes from pensioners themselves.

A quarter of people aged 65 and older reckon that failing to start saving earlier is their biggest financial regret. More than 1,500 people were quizzed in the study – and the findings show that many of those who have final-salary pensions (in which their former employers guarantee monthly payments) also wish they had made further retirement provision.

It all suggests that younger people might like to take heed of the hindsight of those who are a little older and wiser.

Richard Stone, chief executive of the Share Centre, which commissioned the study, says the findings emphasise concerns around an increasing pension savings gap.

“If those already at or in retirement are admitting they haven’t saved enough money and are now looking back with regret, then those with retirement ahead of them need to take note,” he says.

“Whether it’s a case of not saving earlier enough, or simply not putting enough aside, it seems that even final-salary pension schemes are not sufficient to support them.”

Mr Stone also pointed out the much better returns generated by stocks and shares over the past quarter of a century, and said it was worth taking a holistic look at pension saving. The UK stock market has delivered returns of more than 600% since 1990, compared with just 68% returns from cash.

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