Chapter 8 The social, cultural and economic influences on retirement saving for young adults in the UK
Restricted access

How young adults in the UK save for their retirement has become more complex due to recent changes to the pension policy, which necessitate greater and continuous private saving (through workplace pension schemes and other savings vehicles). As the importance of active saving during working life grows, it becomes essential to understand young adults’ retirement saving behaviour. In this chapter, we focus on the younger half of the working age population in the UK (adults aged up to 50, hereafter young adults) to fully capture the experiences of becoming an adult in the first part of t working life and how this shapes financial behaviours, acknowledging that patterns of ageing vary across different groups (Baars et al., 2013; Mortimer & Moen, 2016). Our work suggests that young British adults’ approach to retirement saving is not simply a function of income (or the lack of it), or present bias/myopia, but instead concerns how social and economic circumstances coalesce. By combining the findings from two studies on the young adults’ retirement saving, using quantitative and qualitative data, we provide a nuanced picture of how young adults’ social, cultural and economic factors inform retirement saving. Drawing on a social ageing perspective, meaning the ways in which individuals perceive their life-course progression, we demonstrate that young people’s retirement saving is contingent on feeling financially resilient and established in their adult lives, guided by economic, social and cultural norms. We argue that this social ageing perspective is essential to understanding retirement saving activity amongst young adults, and highlight theoretical, methodological and policy implications.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Other access options

Redeem Token

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institutional Access

Personal login

Log in with your Elgar Online account

Login with you Elgar account