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Pensions crisis looms

Pensions have always been a tricky subject for architects - the profession does not yet seem to have got its head around the issue.

Research published in the AJ in April (see AJ 7.4.05) shows that 54 per cent of architects overestimate the potential income return from their pension plan, while 15 per cent missed the mark by 100 per cent or more. More than 33 per cent of architects will be forced to work beyond pensionable age, even if they do not want to.

Pension schemes are not understood by most firms and are not taken seriously by a lot of young architects, perhaps because they are poorly paid and rely on almost all of their income just to get by. The fact that the majority of the firms in the AJ100 have a pension plan neither means that there is a high take-up rate nor that the rest of the profession follows suit.

Most frighteningly, the research - carried out for pension firm Baillie Gifford Retail - shows that 34 per cent of the entire architectural community may not be saving enough to retire.

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