Planning and preparing for later life: A social survey feasibility study

Collins D, Toomse-Smith M, Comanaru R, Fenton C, Gloster R, Silcock D, Dodd T |   | Department for Work and Pensions | Feb 2019

cover image

The UK pension landscape has undergone significant changes over the last decade, making it important that policymakers understand how people make work, retirement and pensions decisions in order to make a full assessment of recent changes and to inform future policy development.

The Department for Work and Pensions commissioned NatCen Social Research, in partnership with the Institute for Employment Studies, and Pensions Policy Institute, to conduct a feasibility study into the most appropriate and cost-effective means to get policy-relevant evidence on people’s behaviours and attitudes towards planning and preparation for later in life. We reviewed the data collected via existing surveys, conducted workshops with stakeholders to discuss information needs, and reviewed the methodological options to meet the evidence requirements.

This report recommends introducing a bespoke, cross-sectional survey of 40 to 75 year olds, repeated every three to five years. The survey looks at pensions alongside employment, careers and issues surrounding training. It also covers other alternatives and provides recommendations to inform future research into later life issues concerning:

  • work decisions;

  • retirement planning; and

  • pension saving.