"It may come as a surprise that some men may be facing a less comfortable retirement due to their mental health."
- Helen McGinty, head of financial advice distribution at Skipton
New research to mark International Men’s Day has revealed that men’s pension pots are under threat due to poor mental health.
A study of 2,000 UK adults, commissioned by Skipton Building Society, reveals that almost a quarter of men over the age of 50 have had to take time out of work due to their mental health.
Skipton says many men are facing the double-whammy of day-to-day cashflow concerns and worries over their retirement income.
Data from Skipton’s charity partner, Mental Health UK, suggests one in eight men will struggle with a mental health challenge – but this stat could be even higher with Mental Health UK reporting that men don’t often report their experiences.
The average pension pot, according to Skipton’s data, for a man over 50 is £63,222. However, taking time out of work potentially means a break in pension contributions, a vital means of saving for retirement.
According to the survey, 44% of men are worried they won’t be able to afford the retirement they had always hoped for and 18% generally feel pessimistic when it comes to retirement.
On top of unexpected career breaks, more than half of men polled said they feel like the cost of living is outpacing how investments are performing, while three in 10 said they’d expected to be earning more at this point in their career.
But ultimately, 27% of men didn’t start seriously thinking about pensions and retirement until later in life.
Helen McGinty, head of financial advice distribution at Skipton, said: “It may come as a surprise that some men may be facing a less comfortable retirement due to their mental health. It’s great to see men taking the time to focus on themselves and their wellbeing, so it’s important to make sure they are given the support they need to make up any pension shortfalls later down the line.
“We know there are moments in life that are just unpredictable. That’s why I can’t stress enough that it is never too early to think ahead and get planning for that retirement you’re dreaming of. By committing a bit more to your pension in your twenties, you could start building a buffer for those unexpected breaks.”