UK employees just one month from the breadline, new research by Legal & General reveals

Britain’s employees could maintain their current lifestyle for only a month if they lost their source of income and had to rely on savings, new research from insurer Legal & General shows today.

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  • Average UK employee has enough savings to last them just 32 days on their current lifestyle if their income stopped
  • UK employees had on average just £6,500 in savings but believed they needed almost £10,000 more to be financially secure
  • Nearly a quarter (23%) said they did not save any of their income each month
  • Wales had the shortest deadline to the breadline, at just 26 days

Britain’s employees could maintain their current lifestyle for only a month if they lost their source of income and had to rely on savings, new research from insurer Legal & General shows today.

The survey of 2,000 full and part-time employees found that the average employee’s ‘deadline to the breadline’ was just 32 days. However, more than a quarter (26%) said that their current savings would last just one week or less, highlighting that families across the UK are at threat should the main breadwinner die or become critically ill. 

The research found that whilst the deadline rose to 36 days if respondents reined in their spending, one-fifth (21%) would still be able to live off their savings for up to one week. Furthermore, whilst the average employee had just over £6,500 in savings, they believed they would need a further £9,830 to feel financially secure. Nearly one-quarter (23%) even said they did not save any of their income each month.

The statistics also showed a variation in the deadline across the UK. Northern Ireland had the longest deadline, with individuals saying that their savings would last 36 days on average. In contrast, Wales had the shortest deadline to the breadline, with those surveyed saying that with they could sustain their current level of spending for on average just 26 days after losing their primary source of income.

Richard Kateley, Head of Intermediary Development, Legal & General said:

“Whether you are enjoying the benefits of your monthly salary, going through the process of buying your first home or starting your own family, it’s all too easy to avoid thinking about how you would manage your financial wellbeing if something went wrong. It’s important to remember that we all have our own ‘deadline the to the breadline’ and as this research by Legal & General shows, for some individuals that could worryingly be as short as one week.

“The death or critical illness of a main earner and the financial impact that could have on a family or household has the potential to be significant, yet unfortunately the UK still clearly suffers from a savings and protection gap. We merely rent our lifestyles and we pay each month for it through our earnings, take away those earnings and it may not just be your house that you are thrown out of, but your entire lifestyle. It is vital that individuals and families plan ahead for such a critical event, either by saving money each month to ensure their financial security or by speaking with an adviser about a protection policy that could support them in their time of need.”

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Further Information (Journalists Only)

Alyson Bowcott

Alyson Bowcott

Media Relations Manager

Insurance, General Insurance and Health

T: 07764 582574

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Sophie Placido

Associate Director, Rostrum

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Notes to Editors

About Legal & General

The information contained in this press release is intended solely for journalists and should not be relied upon by private investors or any other persons to make financial decisions.

The Legal & General Group, established in 1836, is one of the UK’s leading financial services companies. As at 31 December 2016, the total value of assets across the group was £894.2 billion, including derivative assets. We also had over nine million customers in the UK for our life assurance, pensions, investments and general insurance plans.

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