What does the distribution of wealth tell us about future retirement resources?

Document type
Banks, James; Crawford, Rowena; Tetlow, Gemma
Date of publication
1 July 2010
Research report; 665
Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion
Social welfare
Material type

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The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) was commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions to provide background analysis and context to aid interpretation of data on the distribution of wealth in Great Britain available from the first wave of the Wealth and Assets Survey (WAS). This analysis uses evidence from WAS data to illustrate what the distribution of private pension and other forms of wealth can tell us about the level of, and uncertainty about, future retirement resources. Tentative estimates are also made of how household wealth may have been affected by the financial and housing market declines, given what is known about the composition of portfolios at the time of the first WAS interview and average asset price changes since then.

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