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Two in five UK retirees have retirement regrets

  • 40% of the retired population in the UK have some form of retirement regret 
  • Whether that be increasing pension savings while working (17%) 
  • Or making lifestyle adjustments while working to save more for retirement (12%) 
  • Nearly one in ten (8%) would have retired later than they did 


Canada Life asked current retirees if they would do anything differently in how they approached their retirements, and two in five (40%) said they would have done.

Almost one in five retirees (17%) said they would have increased pension savings while working and      one in ten (12%) would have made lifestyle adjustments while working to save more for their later years.

Nearly one in ten (8%) said they wouldn’t have left work when they did and should have chosen to retire later.

Tom Evans, managing director, Retirement, at Canada Life comments on the findings:

“As the third chapter of life, retirement should be a positive experience and for many, that is thankfully the case. However, with the benefit of hindsight, there are some valuable lessons for us all to learn from the current generation of retirees. Most regrets centre around money, wishing more was saved, and earlier, and often making choices around lifestyle to allow for that extra cash      to go into the pension.

“Many also wished they’d stayed on and worked later, which can have significant positive effects on both financial well-being, and mental health.

“What this research highlights is the need to have a plan and seek advice at the earliest opportunity. A regulated adviser will tell you if you are on track, and keep you keep your plan on track as you navigate through the myriad of investments, generating a replacement income, the tax system and estate planning and inheritance.”




Press enquiries should be directed to:

Elle McAtamney at Canada Life,

 Notes to editors:

  1. Source: Research conducted by Opinium among 663 over 55s who said they were retired, with fieldwork was conducted between 19th – 22nd March 2024.

 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, 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 42 million global customer relationships worldwide and £1.52trillion assets under administration (as at 31 December 2023).

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 to become the leading provider of competitively priced group insurance solutions. 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.