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Average pension pot in the UK: Statistics by age in 2024

Updated on May 28, 2024
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Pensions are a universal part of the UK economy and have been for the last 100 years or so. As we all love to compare and contrast our finances with other people, it’s understandable that there’s a lot of curiosity around average pension pot sizes in the UK. 

What’s worth keeping in mind is that the size of your pension will likely be linked to your age. More years mean more time to earn and pay into your pension through your contributions and from your employers.

So, to give you some insights into the state of UK pensions in 2024, this article will look at average pension sizes by age and provide you with some statistics and tips to make the most out of your personal pensions.

What is the average pension pot in the UK?

According to the ONS, the median pension pot size for all types of pensions is £32,700.

UK average pension pot size by region

It’s not only your age that can make a difference to average pension pot sizes; where you live in the UK can also be a factor. 

Here’s what average private pension pot sizes look like when broken down by regions across the UK:

Region Average pension pot
Scotland £105,600
North East £97,000
North West £112,900
Yorkshire & the Humber £102,000
Wales £131,300
West Midlands £107,100
East Midlands £87,200
East of England £121,500
South West £115,600
South East £155,100
London £84,500

Average UK pension pot by age

Because 2023 has just come to a close, we don’t yet have updated figures for 2024. 

It’s also difficult to look at accurate UK statistics because pensions are such a complex field. However, provider PensionBee has some useful statistics around defined contribution pensions from almost 200,000 customers as of March 2023.

So, let’s take a look at average UK pension pots up until early 2023, broken down by age.

Average pension pot by age and sex

Age Male Female
Under 30 £3,275 £2,619
30 to 39 £9,876 £7,779
40 to 49 £24,083 £17,850
50 to 54 £43,954 £23,962
55 to 64 £107,300 £107,300
65+ £81,100 £81,100

Average pension pot under 30

As you might expect, these figures are quite low. Here’s what the average pension pots look like for those under 30:

  • Male: £3,275
  • Female: £2,619

Average pension pot at 30 to 40 years old

Here’s what the average UK pension pot looks like for those between 30 and 39 years of age:

  • Male: £9,876
  • Female: £7,779

Average pension pot at 40 to 50 years old

Here’s what the average UK pension pot looks like for those between 40 and 49 years of age:

  • Male: £24,083
  • Female: £17,850

Average pension pot at over 50 years old

Here’s what the average UK pension pot looks like for those over 50 years of age:

  • Male: £43,954
  • Female: £23,962

Average pension pot at 55, 60, 65

Here’s what the ONS says is the median average UK pension pot for the age bracket of 55 to 64:

  • Male/female: £107,300

Average pension pot at 65, 70 and above

Here’s what the ONS says is the median average UK pension pot for those who are 65 and older:

  • Male/female: £81,100

What’s the Biggest Pension Pot in the UK?

The largest pension pot in the UK in 2023 was worth £11 million. A figure which is much higher than the average UK pension pot size.

Overview of Pensions in the UK

After diving into the stats, it’s worth having a brief overview of UK pensions.

It’s an area often discussed and frequently changes due to political and societal changes. The main types of pensions in the UK are:

For the purpose of this guide, we’re mostly going to be looking at defined contribution (DC) pensions. 

Reason being, that no one has control over what happens with the State Pension and defined benefit (DB) pensions are being phased out (and are much harder to quantify in monetary or cash terms).

A DC pension is a type of workplace or private pension that you pay into yourself to build up a retirement pot over time. It’s what your employers will set up for you with auto-enrolment and hopefully pay in a percentage of your salary themselves. 

The minimum for the auto-enrolment system is 8%. Usually, this is made up of 5% from you and 3% from your employer. However, some companies will contribute more. You also get tax relief on top of these contributions.

UK Pension Statistics

Let’s take a look at some overall statistics relating to private pensions and workplace pensions in the UK.

According to the ONS, workplace pension participation rates reached 79% by April 2021, which means around 22.6 million workers are enrolled in workplace pensions.

Source: ONS

You can see from this graph that workplace pension participation in the UK is increasing (apart from the decline in defined benefit (DB) pensions). However, this big uptick is largely due to auto-enrolment being introduced in 2012 (shown by the first grey line in the graph).

However, when it comes to private pensions, the trend has been slightly different. In the last few years, the number of members and average individual contributions has actually decreased slightly. 

But this is in part due to the coronavirus pandemic, as people paused pension contributions due to economic uncertainty. You can see these recent average UK private pension trends in the graph below:

Source: UK Gov

Why it’s helpful to know the average UK Pension Pot

One of the most important reasons why this information is useful is because it can help you better plan and prepare for your retirement.

Even if retirement is many years away, the steps you take today can make a huge difference to the quality of your retirement. 

According to the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) Retirement Living Standards, these are the yearly amounts you need to take from your retirement pot for various standards of living in retirement:

People Minimum lifestyle Moderate lifestyle Comfortable lifestyle
Single  £12,800 £23,300 £37,300
Couple £19,900 £34,000 £54,500

This is how much interactive investor estimates a single pensioner would need in their retirement pot to be able to meet these figures in retirement:

  • Minimum lifestyle – £59,900 total pension pot
  • Moderate lifestyle – £290,800 total pension pot
  • Comfortable lifestyle – £598,700 total pension pot

Tips for boosting the size of your Pension Pot

Now that you’ve got a better understanding of the statistics around average pension pot sizes in the UK, here are some ways you can try and make sure you have an above-average pension when you retire:

  • Start early – this may be out of your control depending on your age, but try and start saving for retirement as soon as you can.
  • Open a SIPP – if you’re maxing out your workplace pension contributions, consider opening a self-invested personal pension (SIPP) as an additional retirement pot that has added flexibility.
  • Consolidate your pensions – keeping all your pensions under one roof can make them easier to manage and allow you to see greater benefits from compound interest.
  • Lower fees – with some workplace pensions, you can’t choose the provider. But if you can, look for one with lower fees because this will make a huge difference to the size of your pot at retirement.
  • Research your investments – most people don’t look at what their pension is investing in. You can take control and aim for more growth-focused investments if you’re younger or happy to take on extra potential risk.

Bottom line on average Pension Pots in the UK

Your pension should form the backbone of your finances. Unless you’re approaching retirement, you don’t need to check your investments regularly, but take some time to understand your pension and check periodically to make sure everything is on track.

Across the UK, there are wide differences in the statistics relating to average pension pot sizes based on age, gender and location. Some elements will be outside your control, but a grasp of the averages will allow you to compare your pension pot with other people in your age bracket.

You may need to up your contributions to keep up and make sure you can live the life you want in retirement. It’s better to be aware of these average pension pot statistics to keep your retirement savings on track instead of burying your head in the sand.

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About the author
Pedro Braz
Co-Founder & Growth Manager

Pedro is passionate about finance, marketing, and technology. He is a growth manager at several online projects and a former digital marketer for a fintech company.

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