Mark Wadsworth

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Scottish Widows Tomfoolery

The BBC rehash a bit of Scottish Widows propaganda…

The survey, conducted for Scottish Widows which is itself a pensions provider, suggested that on average people would like £24,300 a year to live comfortably at the age of 70.

Pensions experts say it would require a large pension pot to be saved by each individual to achieve this level of retirement income, and the report suggested that people were falling some way short.

Figures compiled by Hargreaves Lansdown found that people would need to build up a pot of £425,000 in order to gain that level of retirement income, allowing for inflation.

OK, ignoring compound returns and inflation, which more or less cancel out, if we sheepishly followed their advice, then some adults would be saving up for a pension, and on average their pot would be worth half that £425,000 figure; others would be in retirement, and the average value of their entitlement would also be half that figure; there are about 45 million adults in the UK, 45 million x 1/2 x £425,000 = £9,562 billion.

The total value of all assets in the UK is only about £9,000 billion (there is no need to add on corporate-owned assets to privately owned assets, as privately owned assets includes the value of shares in businesses, which is in excess of the value of corporate-owned assets).

So Scottish Widows are really saying is that they (and other pensions/insurance companies) would like to control slightly more than the total wealth of the UK.


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