One in four think property is the safest way to save for retirement

A quarter (25%) of people think property is the safest way to fund their retirement, in what experts say reflects an “obsession” with bricks and mortar.

Some 45% think a pension from an employer is the safest way to save for older age, while one in eight (12%) believe that a personal pension is the best bet, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures.

One in 20 (5%) think a savings account is the safest retirement vehicle, while 7% believe an Isa would be the best method, according to estimates covering Britain from the ONS Wealth and Assets Survey.

Ian Browne, a retirement expert at wealth management business Quilter, said: “Well over half (57%) of people now see pensions as the safest way to save for retirement.

“That is a significant shift and it shows that people are starting to recognise the enormous benefits of saving into a pension.”

He added: “However, there is still a significant minority of people (25%) that feel property is the safest way to save.

“People take comfort from bricks and mortar, and many of us have a long-held obsession with property.

“This is no surprise after decades of rising house prices, but it could be a risky strategy.

“For starters, property is illiquid by nature so isn’t always suitable as a retirement asset, and increasing house prices shouldn’t be treated as a given.

“A failure to build enough new homes has propped up property values, but it is dangerous to assume this will always be the case as planning law begins to be relaxed.”

Helen Morrissey, pension specialist at Royal London, said: “While property has its place in a retirement planning strategy, care must be taken not to be overly reliant on any one asset as if prices fall then retirement plans can unravel.”

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