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Property and stocks fall out of pension fashion

The proportion of people naming property and shares as major components of their pension savings has slumped, according to a survey conducted by Alliance Trust, the stockbroking and investment firm.

The number naming property investments as one of the top three elements of their pension savings fell from 43 percent in 2007 to 33 percent this year, while the percentage naming shares dropped to 9 from 15 percent.

At the height of the boom in the housing market, many felt that property was a one-way bet, while pensions had suffered from the government's taxing of dividend income and falling investment returns.

But the crash in prices of shares and property since the credit crisis took hold has boosted savers' reliance on traditional pension plans, says Alliance Trust.

The number of respondents naming company pensions in their top three increased from 36 percent to 40 percent over the past year -- the same level as in 2006.

Personal pensions also gained in popularity, with the proportion naming them as a top-three savings vehicle rising from 28 percent in 2007 to 31 percent now.

"While property prices have been growing rapidly over recent years, the onset of the credit crunch has had noticeable effects on the housing market," said Steve Latto of Alliance Trust. "This no doubt has led to many people reassessing their pension provisions.

"It is not surprising that faith in property has fallen already this year and may decline further because of the exceptional financial crisis we are living through and the likelihood that we are heading for recession."

He added: "The economic changes we have experienced over the past year clearly highlight the importance of careful planning for retirement as well as diversification as a way of offsetting the risks inherent in all kinds of investments."


Print   2008-11-05