Today sees the publication of some new research from the ILC-UK called ‘Asset Accumulation across the Life Course’, made possible by the support of Prudential, and Partnership.
During the last few years, a lot of time and attention has focused on pension reform. But, as everyone knows, there have also been lots of changes to other kinds of retirement saving and household assets. To provide a detailed picture of these changes, the ILC-UK decided to undertake the Asset Accumulation research. We wanted to understand how the experiences of different cohorts are varying. We also wanted the research to be fairly simple and descriptive so that it could be accessible to a wide audience.
Measuring what has happened to non-pension household assets isn’t easy. Over the life course, people pass through different stages. At some points, they hold their assets individually, but other at stages, with a partner. By focusing on changes to household wealth using data from the British Household Panel Survey, we think we are publishing one of the most detailed pictures of how trends in life course asset accumulation are changing.
This is pretty ‘big picture’ research, that is potentially relevant to a whole range of different areas of public policy. In the accompanying discussion paper, ‘Asset Accumulation in Focus’, we focus on a few that are particularly relevant. Inevitably, the major change in non-pension household assets has been in housing wealth. By comparing what has happened to younger and older cohorts, it is clear that their experiences of asset accumulation during the life course will be very different. The findings relate to some of the key interests of the ILC-UK: How do we ensure people provide for their retirement income? How should we pay for the costs of an ageing population?
We look forward to hearing other people’s thoughts on trends in life course asset accumulation, and what they mean for public policy.