Recently retirees’ share of wealth passes the under 45s

Recent retirees now enjoy a larger share of property wealth than people under 45.

Research by the Resolution Foundation shows that the share of total wealth held households headed by someone aged under 45 fell from 20% to 16% in 2010-12.

Meanwhile, households headed by someone between 64-74 years old held 19% of the UK’s property wealth.

The report also looks at the components of wealth between different age groups before and towards the end of the recession. Approaching the recession in 2006-08, households aged 16-44 held 22% of the property wealth, dropping to 17% in 2010-12. 

This compares with the recent retirees which held 17% of the property wealth in 2006-08, rising to 20% in 2010-12.

The Resolution Foundation has attributed this shift to falling home ownership rates for younger households.

The generational wealth gap has grown since 2008, where the recently retired were relatively protected in a downturn where house recovered quicker than wage growth. 

David Willetts, executive chair of the Resolution Foundation, said:

“I do not believe that this shift is creating an intergenerational conflict. What we see instead is a considerable transfer of wealth from recent retirees down to their children and grandchildren, for instance by helping them to get on the property ladder.

“To ensure that younger households enjoy the same wealth in older age as recently retired households, we need to see a relentless focus on productivity to get wages growing at a healthier rate.”

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