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How does pension saving change when individuals complete repayment of their mortgage?

IFS Working Paper W20/39

We examine the extent to which owner-occupiers in their 50s and 60s change their private pension saving when they complete repayment of the mortgage on their primary residence. Using panel data from a household survey, the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, we identify those who completed repayment of their mortgage as anticipated two years prior. Despite mortgage expenditures falling by over £200 per person on average, there is little resulting change in average pension saving. This is because only a small minority of individuals react – the probability of an individual increasing their monthly pension saving by more than £150 increases by only 5 percentage points on completing repayment of a mortgage. This suggests that if policymakers wish to influence behaviour in order to increase private pension saving, interventions targeted at those completing their mortgage repayment could be a tractable approach. Such individuals would be able to increase pension saving while maintaining spending at recent levels.

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IFS Working Paper W20/38
In this paper, we estimate the effect of house prices on whether or not young adults actively save in a private pension. We use job-level data from a survey of employers, matched to average house prices at the level of an individuals’ location of employment, exploiting geographical variation in ...
Briefing note
The research summarised in this briefing note has taken an important first step in understanding how the timing of individuals’ pension saving interacts with the accumulation of housing wealth.