Press releases

Average British family just 18 days from breadline, reveals Legal & General’s Deadline to the Breadline Report, 2013.

John Pollock - Group Board Director - Legal & General's Risk business
John Pollock
Legal & General Assurance Society

25 July 2013

John Pollock - Group Board Director - Legal & General's Risk business
John Pollock
Legal & General Assurance Society
  • Families estimate their savings will last them 57 days
  • The North East and Yorkshire and the Humber have the shortest deadline, of just 7 days
  • The average 25-44 year old is 7 days away from the breadline
  • Over 65s’ deadline is 168 days longer than 25-44 year olds

Legal & General’s latest Deadline to the Breadline Report today reveals that within less than three weeks (18 days) of losing their usual sources of income, the average British family will be reliant upon state benefits and friends and family alone for financial support, once their savings run out. Analysis in the report suggests that this deadline looks set to shorten further, as households are expecting to see both their disposable incomes and their savings fall in the year ahead.

On average, UK households estimate that they could get by on their savings for 57 days – over three times what the Legal & General figures show. The research, supported by analysis by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) is based on a survey of 2,478 consumers. The shocking fact is that the 18 days only applies to those who have savings. With 37 per cent of the population not having any money put away, this could see a number of people on the breadline tomorrow, in the event of a financial disaster.

  • Other key findings:Households in the West Midlands have the longest average deadline (40 days), despite Londoners having the highest median savings levels (£1,500), as their monthly household costs are lower.
  • Median household savings in the North East/Yorkshire and the Humber – the region with the shortest deadline – currently stand at just £260.
  • Household members over 65 have an average deadline of 175 days – a staggering 168 days longer than 25-44 year olds – reflecting the greater accumulation of savings among older people.
  • 35-44 year olds have the lowest median savings levels at £310, compared to the UK average of just £660. Interestingly, 25-34 year olds have slightly more savings on average than their immediate elders (£320).

John Pollock, Group Executive Director at Legal & General comments:

“Recent economic indicators are encouraging and suggest a recovery may be on the horizon. However, we are not out of the woods yet and our latest Deadline to the Breadline Report shows that the financial situation for most UK families remains very difficult. British households are clearly still under a great deal of pressure; earnings are being squeezed and saving is difficult. It’s therefore unsurprising, but still very worrying, to see that the average family is just 18 days away from the breadline.”

Pollock continues:

“Families have seen their disposable incomes fall by £21 per month in the past year and a shocking 37 per cent of households report having no savings at all. Unforeseen events ranging from illness to redundancy often lead to a sudden loss of income. Our research suggests that in such an event, over a third of households would not have enough savings to maintain their standard of living. These families would be left dependent solely on the state, unless they have some other source of protection. Despite the green shoots in the UK economy, many households are still clearly at risk of financial disaster and this ‘Deadline to the Breadline’ should act as a wake-up call for families to ensure they are taking steps to protect themselves from the worst.”

Notes to editors


For consumer press

Work out your own Deadline to the Breadline using Legal & General’s online calculator

For trade press

Find out how long your clients have until they could be on the breadline using Legal & General’s Deadline to the Breadline calculator

For more information please contact:

Alyson Bowcott

Alyson Bowcott
PR Manager, Legal & General Group

t: +44 (0) 20 3124 2092
m: +44 (0) 7764 582574