1.5 million* Brits never want to retire

New research from Canada Life2 reveals that 13% of UK adults that are not currently retired, are never planning to give up work. Unfortunately, this may be due in part to the cost-of-living crisis, with more than a third (34%) of people’s retirement plans altered as a consequence. This includes one in four (26%) over 55s, around 2.2 million3 people.

Of those who are yet to retire, an alarming proportion have no detailed plans in place. One in five (19%) of those aged 55 and over still have no plans at all, whilst a further 45% claim their plans are not detailed. One in 10 (10%) Brits have never thought about planning for this life milestone – and don’t intend to either, essentially leaving their later years to fate. On the flip side, more than a third (35%) of retirees wish they had planned for their retirement more thoroughly in advance.

For those who have started thinking about their retirement, the average age is 37. On average, men start to think about retirement a few years younger than women (35 vs 39).

The majority of those who have started to think about retirement haven’t spoken to a financial adviser about their plans (71%) and amongst that group, just 49% would consider doing so.

Tom Evans, Managing Director of Retirement, Canada Life said: “The old adage ‘fail to prepare and prepare to fail’ absolutely applies when it comes to planning for retirement. Worryingly, our research shows that many people are adopting a ‘bury your head in the sand’ mentality. Retirement may feel like a lifetime away, but the sooner you plan, the more empowered you will feel when it comes to your financial future. No matter what age you are, a financial adviser can be invaluable in helping you to plan for and achieve your ideal retirement.”

Canada Life are proud to be an ambassador at this year’s Pension Awareness Week.  Marking their 10th anniversary this year, Pension Awareness Week is dedicated to encouraging people of all ages to engage with their pension and promoting the importance of investing and saving for the future.

Shelley Greenwood, Head of Investment Proposition, Wealth at Canada Life and Emma Napier, Consulting Director at NextWealth will be joining the Pension Geeks as part of their support for Pension Awareness Week. The talk will be livestreamed at 10am on Friday 15th September. They will be covering how financial advice can help with retirement planning. Viewers can tune in via https://pensionawarenessday.com/videos/how-can-financial-advice-help-me



Press enquiries should be directed to:

Elle McAtamney, Canada Life, 07913 568213, elle.mcatamney@canadalife.co.uk

Notes to editors:

  1. * On a nat rep survey of 2000 UK adults, 55 never want to retire. 55 / 2000 * 53188000 (UK adult population) = 1462670 (shorthand 1.5 million)
  2. The research was commissioned by Canada Life and conducted by Opinium, with a nationally representative sample of 2000 UK adults, between 22.08.23 – 25.08.23.
  3. On a nat rep survey of 2000 UK adults, 84 are aged 55+, not retired, and have changed their retirement plans due to the cost-of-living crisis. 84 / 2000 * 53188000 (UK adult population) = 2233896 (shorthand 2.2 million)

About Canada Life:

Canada Life is part of a group of companies controlled by Great-West Lifeco Inc., a diversified financial services holding company headquartered in Winnipeg, Canada. Through its subsidiary companies, Great-West Lifeco has operations in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Great-West Lifeco and its insurance subsidiaries have received strong ratings from major rating agencies.  Great-West Lifeco has over 38 million customers worldwide and £1.532trillion assets under administration (as at 31 December 2022).

Canada Life Limited began operations in the United Kingdom in 1903 and looks after the retirement, investment and protection needs of individuals and companies alike. As well as providing stability and security through its individual contracts, Canada Life Limited has grown and maintained its position as the market leading provider of group insurance solutions.1 Canada Life acquired Retirement Advantage on 3rd January 2018 for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition added over 30,000 retirement income and equity release customers and more than £2 billion of assets under management including a £1.5 billion block of in-force annuities to Canada Life.

Canada Life Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Canada Life International Limited and CLI Institutional Limited are Isle of Man registered companies authorised and regulated by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority. Canada Life International Assurance Limited and Canada Life International Assurance (Ireland) DAC are authorised and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Stonehaven UK Limited, registered in England and Wales no. 05487702. Registered office: Canada Life Place, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire EN6 5BA.

Stonehaven UK Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.


  1. Canada Life MI & Swiss Re, 2022