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By Wesleyan

One in ten dentists unsure how much they need for retirement

dental pension
3 min
Mature male dentist sitting on dentist chair

In support of the national Pension Attention campaign, Wesleyan has released retirement research findings specifically for dentists across the UK.

The Pension Attention campaign marks an unprecedented cross-industry pension campaign, created in part after it was revealed by the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association that only 20% of the British population are confident they are saving enough for retirement. The campaign aims to help people understand their pensions and protect their money for the future.

In terms of dental professionals, Wesleyan’s research indicated that saving enough for retirement is the key financial priority for 40% of dentists over the next twelve months, but more than one in ten are unsure how much they will need when the time comes to hang up the loupes for good.

While the Retirement Living Standards provides some indication, suggesting that a single person would need a minimum of £37,300 per annum to maintain a ‘comfortable’ lifestyle, with dentists typically being higher earners their financial requirements may be significantly different.

Iain Stevenson, Head of Dental at Wesleyan, said: “These findings won’t be surprising to a financial adviser who’s worth their salt when it comes to the complexities of a career in dentistry.

“With many dentists having some form of NHS pension, multiple income streams and being self-employed, it’s understandable that there are many elements that make it difficult for dentists to pinpoint exactly how much they are likely to receive in retirement. However, clarity in this area helps dentists make informed choices, put plans in place to retire when they want to and supports tax efficiency while saving. Seeking specialist advice may support dentists that are in a position of uncertainty.”

The research also revealed that in the next two years, a quarter of dentists are prioritising reducing their working hours and a fifth are looking to reduce their NHS commitments. Concerningly, of those looking to make changes, only 40% are sure how these changes would impact their pensions, which will be significant without replacing the potential loss in pension contributions.

When looking more closely at the findings, female dentists are more vulnerable in this financial planning area, with less than a quarter feeling confident that they understand the implications and planning for short and long-term impacts. In comparison, 41% of male dentists are confident they have planned for these changes.

When faced with more immediate financial challenges, such as the cost of living crisis and spiralling energy prices, these important elements of financial planning can be deprioritised. But with inflation potentially also impacting these longer-term financial plans, particularly for NHS pension members who are already close to breaching the Annual Allowance, taking time to pay pensions some attention could be invaluable.

Visit our pension attention page with pension resources to get started.

Please note: Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and may be subject to change in future.

Findings are based on consumer research of 363 dental professionals conducted between 12th March and 3rd of May 2022.

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