6m people retire earlier than planned

  • One in four say they retired at least five years earlier than planned
  • About a third said they retired early because they could afford to, but a similar proportion were not in a good financial position to retire when they did
  • Illness, stress and redundancy are common reasons for people retiring early

Research from pensions and retirement specialist LV= highlights how millions of people say they have retired earlier than planned.

The LV= Wealth and Wellbeing Monitor* - a quarterly survey of 4,000 UK adults - reveals:

  • 47% (6m) retirees say they retired earlier than planned with one in four (3m) saying they retired at least five years earlier than planned
  • Men are more likely than women (27% vs 23%) to have retired five years or more earlier than planned

Clive Bolton, Managing Director of Protection, Savings & Retirement, said: 

“It is encouraging to see that a reasonable minority of people have been able retire early because they have been able save enough to secure the income they need when they stop work." 
“Early retirement is possible for people but they need to plan ahead, take financial advice and be prepared to save large amounts. However, early retirement can be a problem if it is forced upon you without time to prepare.” 

About a third (31%) of people retired early because they could afford but many people say they were not financially ready to retire when they did

  • 30% (4m) of retirees said they weren’t in a good financial position to retire when they did
  • 37% (2m) of women said they were not in a good financial position to retire when they did.

The research highlights the many reasons** why people retired earlier than planned

  • 31%  (1.8m) said they could afford to retire 
  • 27% (1.5m) said they did not want to work any more
  • 25% (1.4m) retired early because of ill health or injury
  • 17% (1m) because of stress or mental health
  • 15% (0.9m) because of redundancy
  • 9% (0.5m) say they retired because they disliked their boss or management 
  • 6% (0.4m) retired because they had to care for a partner or parent who was in ill health

(Figures add up to more than 100% because respondents chose multiple responses). 

Clive Bolton, Managing Director of Protection, Savings & Retirement, added: 

“Retiring early is a dream for millions of people and it is achievable for people who have been able to plan, save into a pension over a long period and taken financial advice to help them plan their finances."

“However, it can become a financial problem if retirement is forced upon people before they have had time to prepare. People retiring early have less time to save into a pension fund and their fund needs to last longer. They will need to accept they potentially will have a reduced retirement income and run a greater risk of running out of money in retirement." 

“People planning for retirement should think hard about what they want to do when they eventually stop work. It is helpful to have a good idea of the lifestyle you want, how much it will cost and how you are going to pay for it. Consulting a financial adviser is a good way to ensure your retirement plans are on track." 

“Retirement might seem a lifetime away for younger people who are concentrating on their careers, buying a home or raising a family but they can take action now to secure their retirement. The simplest option is make sure you join your company pension and save as much as you can. Making additional contributions early in your career can make a huge difference to the size of your retirement nest egg.” (see table below)."


Figures from LV= highlight the benefits of long-term saving into a pension

Calculations show a 25 year old investing £100 per month plus inflation for 40 years could have a fund value of £87,300 in today’s money by the time they retire at 65.

Delaying saving until the age of 35 could produce a fund value of £58,300 in today’s money while delaying saving by an additional 10 years could result in a fund worth £34,400 in today’s money.

 Age at Entry 25 25 35 35 45 45
 (1) Monthly amount saved (at outset)  £50 £100  £50  £100  £50  £100
 (2) Monthly amount invested after 20% basic rate tax relief (at outset)  £62.50  £125  £62.50  £125  £62.50  £125
 (3) Amount at retirement (age 65)  £43,600  £87,300  £29,100  £58,300  £17,200  £34,400


(1) Amount saved is assumed to increase with inflation of 2% (note 1) per year, with no allowance for employers’ contributions
(2) Amount saved is then topped up with 20% basic rate tax relief.
(3) Amount at retirement figures assume growth of 4% a year net of charges (notes1) and are shown in today’s money i.e. allowing for long term inflation assumption of 2% per year.

Note 1: Long term average assumption over the whole term.

Notes to Editors

*LV= surveyed 4,000 nationally representative UK adults via an online omnibus conducted by Opinium in June 2022
UK population stats from ONS. Total UK adult population is 52.9m UK adults (aged 18+). 

**Figures add up to more than 100% as respondents sometimes had multiple reasons for retiring earlier than planned




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About LV=

LV= is a leading financial mutual and serves over 1.3 million members with a range of financial products. When we started in 1843 our goal was to give financial security to more than just a privileged few and for many decades we were most commonly associated with providing a method of saving to people of modest means. Today we follow a similar purpose, helping people to protect and provide for the things they love, although on a much larger scale and through a wide range of financial services including insurance, investment and retirement products. We offer our services direct to consumers, as well as through IFAs. 

LV= and Liverpool Victoria are registered trademarks of Liverpool Victoria Financial Services Limited and LV= and LV= Liverpool Victoria are trading styles of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies. Liverpool Victoria Financial Services Limited, registered in England with registration number 12383237 is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, register number 110035. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth, BH1 2NF.