LONDON, Dec. 9, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Standard Life and Life Academy, the life and retirement planning charity, have published the report 'Everyone Needs a Plan', to coincide with the launch of Financial Planning Week.
The report suggests that consumers are in the eye of a financial storm with only 51% of adults currently saving while 28% actively choose not to save*.
Authored by Alan Pickering, CBE and chairman of Life Academy, 'Everyone Needs a Plan' examines the UK savings culture and examines, case by case, the repercussions of non saving to consumers from all walks of life. It finds that the penalty for not having a financial plan is not immediately recognised, but can have long lasting repercussions.
The report makes important recommendations for Government, the financial services industry, employers and the voluntary sector.
Alan Pickering said: "In 'Everyone Needs a Plan', we partnered with Standard Life to challenge the view that there is a silver bullet solution from Westminster that will tackle the savings culture in society. We deliberately adopted a bottom up approach to better understand, at an individual level, attitudes to saving. It makes clear the need for a change in approach to improve our savings culture."
In response to the findings of the report, both Life Academy and Standard Life are calling for the following changes and recognition to encourage people to address their attitudes to long term saving:
Simplification of the savings and tax system; ensuring the success of auto enrolment by changing how the state benefits system interacts with private saving; sustained investment in financial education at all levels; recognition that financial literacy is an integral part of planning for life and this integration leads from financial literacy through financial inclusion to social inclusion, thus improving outcomes for individuals and the nation's sense of social cohesion and recognition that individuals need support to develop their life and financial plans and the support must be based on simplicity, trust, stability, and the belief that it will pay to save.
John Lawson, head of pensions policy at Standard Life said: "The speed at which the population is ageing has created a dramatic need to shift from a culture of borrowing to one of saving. 'Everyone needs a plan' makes it clear that we have to make it both easier for people to save and equip them with the knowledge and skills to make well informed choices about how and when to save. We also need to make sure they know where and when to seek financial advice if they need help developing their savings plan."
To support this generation of under savers, Standard Life has launched a website which includes tips and tools to help customers plan their financial future.
About Standard Life:
Standard Life is a leading long term savings and investments company headquartered in Edinburgh and operating internationally. Established in 1825, Standard Life provides life assurance, annuities, investment bonds, tax efficiencies, pensions, including self invested personal pensions (SIPP), company pensions and employer pensions, and investment management to over 6.5 million customers worldwide.
Standard Life provides flexibility and support to build its customers' confidence in their future wealth.
Standard Life operates in the United Kingdom, Europe, North America and Asia Pacific, and globally with Standard Life Investments.
Notes to Editors:
* Standard Life Savings & Investments Index, wave 20, April 2010.
For a copy of the report please go to www.standardlife.com/media.
Standard Life plc
SOURCE Standard Life