Pension incomes vary by up to £12,000 a year
There is huge regional variation across the UK in the amount of pension income a retired household can expect, according to Fidelity International's Class of 2015 research.
The research shows that London households look forward to an average retirement income of £30,000 a year, compared with the UK average of £21,600. Other relatively prosperous retirement regions include the East of England (£26,364) and the South (£24,286).
Households in the Midlands, in comparison, expect to retire on a relatively meagre £18,462 on average.
The contrast between Scottish and English prospects is also striking. Scottish retirees fare marginally worse than the Midlands, expecting an average annual household income of £18,334 - almost £6,000 a year less than the English equivalent at £24,058, and over £11,500 less than London's pensioners.
“A marked divide”
The findings take account of occupational and state pensions, plus any other income-generating investments.
The Class of 2015 study looks at the savings and financial attitudes of 500 adults across the UK who have made use of their pension pots since April 2015, when pension freedoms were introduced.
Richard Parkin, head of retirement at Fidelity International, points out that although these retirement income differentials need to be set against differences in the cost of living in different areas, there is "a marked divide in the income people expect to receive in retirement".
He adds: "The building blocks of any good retirement plan are first to make sure all essential expenses are covered by guaranteed income; be it from a final salary scheme, your state pension or an annuity.
"After that, you can start to use your additional monies with a view to generating income for more fun pursuits.
"Retirees must bear in mind, though, that retirement decisions are complex and often irreversible. I cannot say this enough - if you are in any doubt, you should always seek expert guidance or advice."
This article was written for our sister website Money Observer.
In exchange for any lump sum – usually your pension fund – an annuity is “bought” from an insurance company and provides an income for life. When you die, the income stops. Annuity rates fluctuate daily and depend on your sex (although from 21 December 2012 insurers will no longer be able to use gender as a factor when calculating annuities), age, health and a number of other factors, so you have to pick the right one and, once bought, its terms cannot be altered, so seek financial advice.