The 2017 Drewberry™ Wealth & Protection Survey

15 mins

Welcome to the third Annual Wealth and Protection Survey from Drewberry™. We’ve upped the number of participants to 3,000 people (compared with 2,000 previously) to make the results more robust than ever.

The data below covers areas including UK household wealth and assets, the state of the nation’s pension and retirement provisions, the public’s opinions on financial advice, the financial products they hold and what they think about inheritance tax.

2017 Wealth & Protection Survey Headlines

Summary of Our Wealth & Protection Survey Results…

Drewberry’s Wealth & Protection Survey 2017 covered a representative sample of 3,000 workers in the UK, factoring in age, employment status and gender to get the best possible sample.

We think the results make compelling reading and, in some areas, it’s clear we’ve unearthed some sizeable issues with the UK’s personal finances.

The findings include that a worrying proportion of people are simply not prepared to retire and probably won’t face the retirement they deserve based on their current pensions. Also, Britons are more likely to insure their pets than their own incomes – both worrying trends.

Much of this comes down to the fact that Britons are most likely to describe themselves as ‘just about managing’ – there’s little spare capacity for anything else given 44.3% of people have £200 a month or less in discretionary income.

The public could benefit from engaging better with financial advice – 64.8% of people had never taken financial advice and a whopping 86.8% of people who said they wanted to pass on assets had never formally assessed their inheritance tax liability.

Overall, a better knowledge of the financial options available would likely benefit all.

News Releases from the Data

Balance Sheet Britain: Statistics on UK Personal Finances

Statistics on UK Workers’ Contracts

The vast majority of the people we surveyed were working full-time.

How Would You Describe Your Personal Finances?

2 in 5 UK workers said they were ‘just about managing’, while more than 1 in 10 said they were ‘hanging by a thread’.

When Was Your Last Pay Rise?

Despite the economic circumstances, more than 3 in 5 workers had received a pay rise within the past 2 years.

What Are Your Annual Earnings?

Almost 75% of UK workers we surveyed were basic rate taxpayers (earning less than £45,000 per year), while 17.6% were beneath the income tax threshold of £11,500.

How Much Discretionary Income Do You Have Left Each Month?

44.3% of people had £200 or less left each month after meeting the cost of necessities.

How Much Personal Debt Do You Have (Excluding Mortgages)?

16.4% of the population is walking around with more than £10,000 in personal debt.

How Much Do You Have in Cash Savings?

2 in 5 adults said they had £1,000 or less in cash savings – far below what would likely be needed to sustain them if an accident or sickness stopped them working. For these people, Income Protection could be hugely beneficial.

How Much Do You Have Invested in Financial Markets (Excluding Your Pension)?

40.1% of Britons had absolutely no investments in the financial markets outside of their pension, even though ultra-low interest rates have slashed returns on cash.

Tenure and Housing

How Would You Describe Your Current Living Arrangements?

Almost 2 in 5 people in the UK are renting or living with their parents.

How Much of Your Take-Home Pay Goes on Rent?

More than 1 in 3 renters in the UK say their rent eats up over 41% of their take-home pay.

How Much of Your Take-Home Pay Goes on Your Mortgage?

39.6% of people with a mortgage said that their mortgage ate up no more than 20% of their income – only 22.8% of renters said their rent ate up the same small proportion of their income.

How Much Property Wealth Do You Have?

12.5% of people owned property worth more than £400,000 – well over a single person’s inheritance tax nil-rate band of £325,000. They’d possibly face an inheritance tax liability on their home unless they can use the main residence nil-rate band.

How Much Equity Do You Have in Your Home?

1 in 4 people don’t know how much equity they have in their homes – this can be essential information for those considering equity release to fund retirement, or those hoping to unlock equity in their homes to pay for long-term care.


How Much is Left on Your Mortgage?

If they couldn’t work tomorrow, 1 in 4 Brits would still be on the hook to repay a mortgage of at least £100,000. This is where Mortgage Protection Insurance can step in.

Financial Advice and Financial Products

Which Financial Products Do You Have?

A higher proportion of respondents have pet insurance (23.7%) than the percentage of people who had Critical Illness Cover and Income Protection Insurance combined. Almost four times as many people were insuring their pets than were insuring their incomes.

Have You Ever Taken Financial Advice?

Almost 2 in 3 people had never received financial advice, despite a wide body of research indicating it can make you better off by as much as 50%.

If You’ve Taken Financial Advice, Do You Think You’re Better Off?

63% of people who’d had financial advice felt better off as a result.

How Would You Rather Pay for Financial Advice?

People would most prefer to pay for financial advice via a set charge for a set piece of work.


In Your Opinion, Which Investments Offer Tax Relief on Contributions?

44.4% of people mistakenly thought ISAs attracted tax relief on contributions (they only attract tax relief on capital/investment growth). Meanwhile, 66.1% of people were unaware pensions attracted tax relief on money paid in. Our Pension Tax Relief Calculator shows the tax rebate on pension contributions you may receive.

Ready to Retire? Retirement, Pensions and Inheritance Tax

How Old Were You When You Started Your First Pension?

Almost 1 in 5 people said they didn’t have a pension at all. Meanwhile, excluding those who had started a pension but didn’t remember when, more than 1 in 10 had waited until the age of 36+ to start theirs.

How Old Do You Think You’ll Be When You Can Afford to Retire?

1 in 10 people thought they’d never be able to afford to retire, while more than 1 in 10 expected to be over 70 before they could afford to stop working. Pension advice can improve retirement prospects.

How Much is Your Pension Worth?

More than 50% of people had no idea how much their pension was worth, while 21.9% of people had a pension worth £10,000 or less.

If You’re Self-Employed, Why Haven’t You Taken Out a Pension?

Over one third of self-employed people said they simply couldn’t afford to contribute to a pension, while more than 1 in 5 said they just hadn’t got round to it yet.

Do You Think You’ll Be Better or Worse Off than Your Parents in Retirement?

46.5% of people felt they’d be worse off than their parents in retirement, while only 25.4% felt they’d be better off.


How Much of Your Income Do You Contribute to Your Pension Each Month?

1 in 10 people weren’t contributing anything to a pension each month, while more than 1 in 3 are contributing less than 5% of their income. This may not be enough – our Pension Calculator can forecast how much your pension could be worth based on your current contributions.

Do You Want to Leave Wealth to Your Beneficiaries After You Pass Away?

39.1% of people said it would be nice to be able to leave something for their children to inherit, but that it wasn’t a major priority for them.

Have You Assessed Your Inheritance Tax Liability?

More than 4 in 5 Brits who indicated that they’d like to leave something to their heirs had done nothing to assess their inheritance tax liability. Get started on assessing your inheritance tax liability with our Inheritance Tax Calculator.

How Much Do You Think You’ll Inherit, Including Assets You’ve Already Received?

Excluding people who weren’t sure what they might inherit, almost 1 in 3 people weren’t expecting to receive anything in inheritance from older relatives.

Which Assets Do You Think are Free from Inheritance Tax?

Only 8.4% of Brits knew pensions were free from inheritance tax, similar to the 8.1% of people who incorrectly thought you didn’t have to pay inheritance tax on your home (although with the new main residence nil-rate band, a proportion of your home may now be free from inheritance tax).

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