Retirement Living Standards
The Retirement Living Standards (RLS), first published in 2019 and funded by the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA), set out what the public agree is needed to retire at two living standards above a minimum standard of living, based on extensive research with members of the public. The research uses the established approach to defining minimum living standards pioneered at CRSP and describes in detail what the public agree single and partnered retirees need in order to retire at a moderate and a comfortable living standard.
The RLS capture public expectations about what retirement could look like at different living standard levels, establishing a ‘budget’ that would enable people to live at either a moderate or comfortable level in retirement without being prescriptive about how this resource should be used. In this way the RLS provide individuals with evidence-based, detailed descriptions of living standards which can act as a starting point in thinking about, planning and saving for retirement.
The RLS published in 2019 reported what was needed at that point in time for a minimum, moderate and comfortable standard of living in retirement. In 2020, we uprated the moderate and comfortable RLS budgets, based on changes in prices (captured through CPI) between April 2019 and April 2020. In 2021, the RLS were reviewed and updated (Padley and Shepherd, 2021) in order to reflect public views and consensus around living standards. In 2022, the RLS were updated based on changes in prices in the year to April 2022.
These regular updates, particularly those involving new research with members of the public, are critical in ensuring that the RLS capture changes in society and any changes in shared conceptions of living standards. In 2023, the RLS will be ‘rebased’ – this means starting from scratch, with groups of members of the public, to establish what the public agree is needed for a moderate and a comfortable standard of living in retirement.
Padley, M. (2023) Retirement Living Standards: 2022 update. London: The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association.
Padley, M. and Shepherd, C. (2021) Retirement Living Standards in the UK in 2021. London: The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association.
Padley, M. and Shepherd, C. (2021) The Impact of Covid-19 on thinking about and planning for retirement. London: The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association.