Picture Your Future

Retirement Living Standards

More of us are saving in a workplace pension than ever before. We now have more information, more choices, and more responsibility for our retirement savings.

But will the future we want be the future we are able to get?

The Retirement Living Standards, based on independent research by Loughborough University, have been developed to help us to picture what kind of lifestyle we could have in retirement.

Tell me more

Introducing the Standards

The standards show you what life in retirement looks like at three different levels, and what a range of common goods and services would cost for each level.

For many people their private and state pensions (full state pension for 2021-22 is £9,339 per year), and other savings could go a long way towards these costs. You may need to add other costs depending on your circumstances, such as mortgage, rent, social care costs and any tax on pension income.

Explore the categories to picture what life in retirement could look like for each of the Standards.

Minimum

Single: £10,900 Couple: £16,700

Covers all your needs, with some left over for fun

A ‘minimum’ lifestyle covers all your needs, with some left over for fun and social occasions. You could holiday in the UK, eat out about once a month and do some affordable leisure activities about twice a week.

About three quarters of employees are likely to achieve at least the minimum standard.

Moderate

Single: £20,800 Couple: £30,600

More financial security and flexibility

A ‘moderate’ lifestyle provides more financial security and more flexibility. You could have one foreign holiday a year and eat out a few times a month. You’d have the opportunity to do more of the things you want to do.

Around half of employees are projected to have an income between minimum and moderate.

Comfortable

Single: £33,600 Couple: £49,700

More financial freedom and some luxuries

A lifestyle that allows you to be more spontaneous with your money. You could have a subscription to a streaming service, regular beauty treatments and two foreign holidays a year.

About one in six employees are projected to have an income between moderate and comfortable.

Please show values for:
Single
House
Food & Drink
Transport
Holidays & Leisure
Clothing & Personal
Helping Others

Minimum:

£10,900

Covers all your needs, with some left over for fun

Minimum:

DIY maintenance and decorating one room a year.

Minimum:

A £41 weekly food shop.

Minimum:

No car.

Minimum:

A week and a long weekend in the UK every year.

Minimum:

£410 for clothing and footwear each year.

Minimum:

£10 for each birthday present.

Moderate:

£20,800

More financial security and flexibility

Moderate:

Some help with maintenance and decorating each year.

Moderate:

A £47 weekly food shop.

Moderate:

3-year old car replaced every 10 years.

Moderate:

2 weeks in Europe and a long weekend in the UK every year.

Moderate:

£730 for clothing and footwear each year.

Moderate:

£30 for each birthday present.

Comfortable:

£33,600

More financial freedom and some luxuries

Comfortable:

Replace kitchen and bathroom every 10/15 years.

Comfortable:

A £59 weekly food shop.

Comfortable:

2-year old car replaced every five years.

Comfortable:

3 weeks in Europe every year.

Comfortable:

£1,200 for clothing and footwear each year.

Comfortable:

£50 for each birthday present.

*These amounts would fund this lifestyle for people living outside London. See The Detail for more information.

Our mission

The Retirement Living Standards are aimed at cutting through the ambiguity that currently surrounds retirement planning. We want to help savers think in a practical way about the kind of lifestyle they might lead in retirement.

Like the ‘five a day’ or 5-a-day healthy eating maxim, the PLSA hopes the Standards will one day become a rule of thumb for retirement planning.

Roughly speaking, a single person will need about £11k a year to achieve the minimum living standard, £21k a year for moderate, and £34k a year for comfortable. For couples, it's 17k-31k-50k.

By giving savers a general figure that they can understand, our hope is that savers can then start to develop their own personal targets based on their individual circumstances and aspirations.

We’ve created a series of examples to show what kind of living standard different people could have in retirement depending on their salaries, household and savings.

Show me what this means for people in the UK

Tell me the detail