Britain’s foundation generation (25-35 year olds) are defying the challenging economic times to balance their daily spend while also securing their financial future, Aviva research shows. This age group is financially engaged and planning for the future but also looking for help from advisers and employers.
The majority of the foundation generation, so called because they are laying the groundwork for their finances, are also developing their careers, managing their debt and budgeting their day to day spend. A total of 89% hold a savings account, 38% have a workplace pension and 12% have a private personal pension. In addition, 34% have life insurance and 41% have a cash ISA.
The main reason people do not pay into a pension provided via their employer is that they either cannot afford to pay into it (20%) or they work for someone who does not offer one (19%).
Awareness and information:
This generation shows an interest in finding out more about their financial options, but while 14% want to understand more they do not know where to start, 11% know it is important but find finances boring or difficult and 6% intend to worry about it later.
A further 10% only worry about the aspects of personal finance that impact them directly at the moment. A total of 40% use internet search engines or social media to research financial information, but one in four (25%) would ask a financial adviser for help if possible. This is higher than the number who would speak to family and friends (21%).
Many would like to save into some sort of pension within the next five years either with their employer (26%) or through a private personal pension (22%). Employers were seen as a key source of assistance with 84% of the foundation generation keen to receive financial help from their employers. This could take the form of providing a range of benefits (18%) and providing benefits which are relevant to 25 – 35 year olds (11%).
How employers chose to communicate was also highlighted as an area of importance with 14% asking that their employers keep them informed about the benefits available and 12% asking for access to useful financial information.
While some of the foundation generation’s current financial goals focused on short-term issues such as saving for a holiday (8%) or to fund their hobbies/interests (13%), far more people are looking to the future.
Over a third (36%) are saving to buy a house, 34% aim to pay off their debts and 20% are looking to pay off their existing mortgage as quickly as possible. In addition, 22% are saving for the future generally.
Managing their concerns:
While this generation has taken an active and positive approach to financial planning, they also acknowledge the difficult environment in which they are establishing their careers. The majority (89%) have been affected by the challenging economy with 29% being more careful about what they spend, 13% saying they find it harder to make ends meet and one in 10 worrying about their finances more than before.
The current biggest single worry for this group was meeting an unexpected expense (23%) and making ends meet each month (19%). These concerns far outstripped those people who are worried about keeping up with their friends financially (1%).
Aviva’s Director of Workplace Savings Paul Goodwin said:
“With so much concern about people not saving enough for their retirement, it’s really good to see this younger group of men and women actively managing their finances and planning for their future.
“This generation has the ability to make a real difference to their standard of living right up to and through retirement, if they put money aside now for the long-term.
“Interestingly, most people in this age group are also looking to their employers for help in making the most of their money. And their focus on information gathering demonstrates the important role financial advisers can play in not just setting up company schemes but also providing the information employees need to make informed decisions.
“With automatic enrolment being introduced next year, it’s essential that companies focus not just on setting up good quality schemes but also in investing the time to provide employees with the information they need, in an interesting and relevant way.”