Press releases

Working families just 11 days from breadline, reveals Legal & General’s latest Deadline to the Breadline Report.

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

03 February 2014

John Pollock - Group Board Director - Legal & General's Risk business
John Pollock
Legal & General Assurance Society
  • Average UK household overall is 26 days from the breadline – but just 11 days for those of working age (18-64 years old)

  • People estimate their savings will last them 72 days – almost three times the actual deadline
  • Wales and the North East have the shortest deadlines in the UK of just 11 days
  • A third of Britons (33%) still have no savings

Legal & General’s latest Deadline to the Breadline Report today reveals that within less than two weeks (11 days) of losing their usual sources of income, the average working age family will be reliant upon state benefits and friends and family alone for financial support, once their savings run out. With over 65s included, the overall average deadline is still only 26 days.

This ‘deadline to the breadline’ has increased by eight days in the past six months – from 18 to 26 days.  The improvement is largely due to more people having some disposable income to save at the end of each month, with the recovery in the economy and the jobs market gathering pace. However, while the improvement is good news, many remain in a precarious situation were they to lose their usual sources of income.

On average, UK households estimate that they could get by on their savings for 72 days – almost three times what the Legal & General figures show. The shocking fact is that the 26 days overall figure only applies to those who have savings. With a third (33%) of the population not having any money put away, this could see a significant number of people on the breadline tomorrow, in the event of a financial disaster.

Other key findings:

  • Households in London have the longest average deadline (79 days) due to a dramatic increase in median savings in the capital over the past six months. Increased savings have also boosted the South East to 44 days, highlighting the disparities between the economic health of these two regions compared to the rest of the UK.
  • Median household savings in the North East – which is one of the regions with the shortest deadline along with Wales – have improved but still stand at just £380. Welsh families are in a similar predicament with £390 median savings.
  • As you might expect, household members over 65 continue to lead the way when it comes to saving. This age group has a deadline of 275 days – a staggering 265 days longer than 18-24 year olds. This gap has widened sharply in the past six months following double digit employment growth for over 65s.

John Pollock, Chief Executive Officer, Legal & General Assurance Society Limited comments:“It’s encouraging to see that the effects of the economic recovery are starting to trickle down to ordinary households. This third edition of our Deadline to the Breadline Report shows that more people have started to save a little something over the past six months. However, it serves as a stark reality check to see that most of us are still in a precarious financial situation – the average working age family is just 11 days away from the breadline.”

Pollock continues:
“The employment market has strengthened, especially for over 65s as many are delaying retirement. However, earnings are still struggling to keep up with the cost of living, which is keeping many families under a lot of financial pressure.  It’s crucial that the heads of households, understand the importance of making time for financial planning in order to protect their family’s lifestyle and financial security. As our economic recovery continues to gather pace, now is the time for all of us to take stock and lay the foundations for long-term financial stability.”

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

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.

The Legal & General Group, established in 1836, is one of the UK’s leading financial services companies. As at 30 June 2013, we were responsible for investing £440 billion worldwide on behalf of investors, policyholders and shareholders. We also had over 7.3 million customers in the UK for our life assurance, pensions, investments and general insurance plans.

Legal & General Assurance Society Limited

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For more information please contact:

Alyson Bowcott

Alyson Bowcott
PR Manager, Legal & General Group