Press releases

Legal & General employees take on Age UK Pension Challenge to mark International Older People's Day.

02 October 2013

Employees at Legal & General marked Older People’s Day this week yesterday by partnering with national charity Age UK again to deliver the Pension Challenge 2013 by scaling down their lifestyles for a week and living on a budget equivalent to that available to a pensioner living on a state pension.

Not only does the challenge help raise vital funds for Age UK but by budgeting for a week on a limited amount of money* employees at Legal & General will gain a brief insight into the importance of planning for their own futures and understand the pressures their older customers experience.  With the latest government figures showing that 12 million people remain at risk of inadequate retirement incomes , it is more important than ever to plan ahead for retirement and save as much as possible, as early as possible, to ensure a comfortable later life.

Members of the board and employees at Legal & General will live on a budget that has to cover food, socialising and any personal costs such as hairdressing, personal care and toiletries reflecting what life could be like if they fail to build up a private pension pot. They will be writing a daily blog to reflect upon their experiences and what this means for customers. Age UK wants to raise awareness of how important it is to start preparing for retirement and make important financial decisions early.

150 employees from Legal and General are taking part in the Age UK pension challenge this year which kicked off on 1st October to coincide with Older People’s Day, celebrating the contribution older people make to society. This is the second year the company has taken on the challenge which was the brainchild of Rosemary Lemon, Legal & General’s Head of Remuneration. In 2012 140 willing employees took part and raised a fantastic £17,000 for Age UK.

With 1.6 millionii pensioners living in poverty in the UK – that’s 14% of all older people, many older people are making difficult choices everyday about how to stretch out limited resources particularly with the rising costs of basics like energy and food so it’s crucial that older people claim all the benefits that they are entitled to. Currently one thirdi of older people are failing to claim benefits such as Pension Credit that they are entitled to.

Money raised through the programme will help Age UK to ensure that older people can access all the support and benefits that they’re entitled to. Any older person who is worried about money can visit their local Age UK, call our national Age UK Advice line on 0800 169 65 65 for free information and advice or visit our website

Sophie Down, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Age UK, said: “We’re delighted that Legal and General has chosen to take up the Pension Challenge for a second year. It’s an opportunity to put yourself into an older person’s shoes for the week and get a brief glimpse into what it’s like to manage everyday living costs on a typical state pension.

“What of course the people taking part won’t be able to fully appreciate is how difficult it can be for older people to deal with unexpected emergency expenditure – when the boiler breaks down, when the toilet develops a leak – and also the long term issues with living on a low and fixed budget.”

Graham Precey, Head of Corporate Responsibility and Ethics at Legal & General said: “In a typical year simply by doing business, Legal & General is responsible for paying the pensions of over 600,000 retired customers. The Age UK Pension Challenge is a great way for our employees to put themselves in the shoes of our customers to understand what life would be like for them on a fixed income without the pensions that we provide for them. We are really pleased that 150 of our colleagues right across Legal & General are willing to take on the challenge.”

For more information on how your business can get involved in the Pension Challenge to support Age UK, please contact the Charity’s Corporate Partnerships team at or call 0800 169 8787 for more information.

Notes to editors

The information contained in this press release is intended solely for journalists and should not be relied upon by private investors or any other persons to make financial decisions.

Legal & General Group Plc was established in 1836, Legal & General is a leading provider of protection, annuities, savings and investment management products in the UK, with a market capitalisation of £10.1bn (as at 30 June 2013).

The Group has 7 million retail customers in the UK for life assurance, pensions, investments and general insurance plans.

* Legal and General staff will live on £75* per week, the typical amount left after household bills based on the level of the new flat rate state pension of £144 due to be introduced in 2016. Age UK has worked out the budget to be the typical amount left over after paying regular costs such as electricity and gas bills, housing costs, water rates and clothing from the £144 allowance.

Total bills including clothing, water, gas, electricity, housing costs, household goods and travel including car come to £69 per week leaving £75 left for food, social, personal goods and services per week.

i  Framework for the analysis of future pension incomes, DWP Sept 2013

ii Households Below Average Income 2011/12, Chapters 2 and 6, DWP, 2013. We normally quote AHC. The BHC equivalents are 17% (2 million) below the poverty line of £251 per week

Age UK

For media enquiries relating to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland please contact the appropriate national office: Age Scotland on 0131 668 8055, Age Cymru on 029 2043 1562 and Age NI on 028 9024 5729.

Age UK is the new force combining Age Concern and Help the Aged, dedicated to improving later life.

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