61% of education workers rely on workplace pension for a golden retirement

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  • Over half (61%) of workers in the education sector see their workplace pension as their main source of retirement savings
  • Despite this, on average they only have £33,000 saved into their company pension scheme, among the lowest in the survey
  • As much as three in five (64%) have no idea what their employer is contributing

Aegon UK’s third Readiness report investigates how ready people working in a range of professions are for the retirement they want.

Importance of workplace pensions 

A significant number (61%) of education professionals consider their company pension to be their main method of retirement saving,  just behind healthcare (67%) and financial services (69%) workers. 

However, half (48%) admit to never having checked the performance of their retirement savings, three in five (64%) are unaware how much their employer is contributing, and two in five (41%) don’t know how much they’re putting in themselves.  

Nearly two in five (17%) people who work in the education sector said that they would be willing to increase their pension contributions beyond the new auto enrolment contribution rate of 5% of salary that will be enforced from 2018.

Retirement expectations

When it comes to the income people hope to receive in retirement, those working in the education sector have relatively high expectations, and want to receive £38,000 per year. However this is significantly above the £11,000 they are on course to receive and 21% more than an average teacher’s salary of £30,000.

By 2018 the state pension age will be 65 for both men and women. According to Aegon’s survey, education professionals expect to retire at 64, four years earlier than today’s state pension age for a thirty year old.

Angela Seymour Jackson, Managing Director Workplace Pensions, Aegon UK said: “Workplace pensions are clearly a hugely important part of retirement plans for those in the education sector. However, it’s worrying that so many are not engaged with what they have saved so far or how much of an income it will provide them in the future. Teachers and lecturers may well use their final salary scheme as a safety blanket, but others in the sector face a possible shortfall of £27,000 in retirement expectations at current saving levels. The prospect of living longer, means workers in this sector could be in for a nasty shock in retirement. There needs to be more attention on giving people access to view and manage their workplace retirement savings online or on their mobile. Employers are well placed to support people get ready for retirement and our new service Retiready, provides a digital interface that employers can use to give their employees more control over their pension.”

How other professions stack up

Monthly retirement savings by profession

£467 IT

£234 Banking & financial

£144 Healthcare

£74 Creative arts & design

£95 Social care & guidance

Pension pots by profession

£44k IT

£43k Engineering, manufacturing & production

£40k Banking & financial

£38k construction & property

£30k Healthcare


Profession Average Readiness Score
Administration 49%
Advertising, marketing and PR 49%
Animal and plant resources 50%
Banking, financial management and accountancy 54%
Charity and voluntary work 50%
Construction and property 48%
Creative arts and design 49%
Education 50%
Engineering, manufacturing and production 54%
Environment 48%
Healthcare 50%
Hospitality and events management 47%
Human resources and employment 49%
I am unemployed 38%
Information services 58%
Profession Average Readiness Score
Information technology 55%
Insurance and pensions 56%
Law enforcement and protection 54%
Legal profession 50%
Leisure, sport and tourism 50%
Management and statistics 57%
Media and broadcasting 41%
Mining and land surveying 57%
Performing arts 47%
Publishing and journalism 47%
Retailing, buying and selling 48%
Scientific services 58%
Social care and guidance work 49%
Transport, logistics and distribution 52%