Interactive Investor

Income needed for a moderate retirement increases 38% from 2022

Alice Guy, interactive investor's head of pensions and savings, comments on the PLSA Retirement Living Standards for 2023-24.

7th February 2024 08:00

by Alice Guy from interactive investor

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Interactive investor comments on the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) Retirement Living Standards for 2023-24.

  • Income needed before tax for a moderate retirement increases 38% for a single person and 31% for a couple
  • Income needed for a comfortable retirement increases 17% for a single person and 9% for a couple
  • The amount of income needed for a minimum retirement increases 16% for a single person and 8% for a couple

The PLSA headline figures are after tax, so more will be needed as pre-tax income. For example, a single person now needs £31,300 for a moderate retirement, which translates as £35,982 before tax. The table below compares the pre-tax figures needed for each level of retirement and how much they have changed compared with the previous standards.

Single person

Pre-tax income needed (including full state pension)
















Couple (income per person)















Note 1 (Based on full state pension for 2024)

Alice Guy, Head of Pension and Savings says: “The amount needed for a moderate retirement has skyrocketed during the past year. That’s partly due to the damaging impact of inflation, which hits those on a low income the hardest. But it’s also partly due to changing expectations about retirement.

“With ongoing rising costs, older generations increasingly want to help out younger family members. Family ties run deep and after the bleak years of Covid, it's lovely to see families wanting to spend time together, with additional costs budgeted within a moderate retirement to take out grandchildren and treat family members to a regular meal out.

“It’s important to remember that these figures don’t take account of any housing costs in retirement. Many of those currently in their 30s and 40s will be renting once they reach retirement, so could need a lot more in their pension to achieve a moderate standard of living in retirement.

“The sad reality is that many people aren’t saving enough for a comfortable or even a moderate level of retirement. Those on a low income or saving the minimum amounts into their pension, will struggle to achieve enough for a moderate retirement. Single people also need more than couples to achieve the same standard of living in retirement, as couples are able to share many of their bills.

“It’s important to keep an eye on your pension saving to see if you’re on track for the retirement you want. If you’re falling behind, then it is worth seeing if you can afford to increase your pension contributions. The magic of pension tax relief means that it only costs £80 to pay £100 into a pension for basic-rate taxpayers, and £60 to pay in £100 for higher-rate taxpayers.”

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Related Categories

    Pensions, SIPPs & retirementTax

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