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Saving for Retirement: A Review of Ethnic Minorities in the UK

  • Orla Gough (a1) and Roberta Adami (a2)

This article examines the saving behaviour of ethnic minorities in the UK. Within the context of pension planning, we investigate saving for retirement patterns in relation to ethnicity, gender and age. We use data from the Family Resources Survey (FRS) to analyse employment status, income, saving types and levels. Although we find profound heterogeneity, ethnic minorities show higher levels of unemployment, lower income and consistently lower levels of saving for retirement compared to our white control group. Disadvantages of ethnic minorities during their working life persist, especially for women, although to a lesser extent than in the past, and continue to affect private savings and prospective retirement income. Indian and Chinese men have experienced the greatest improvements in terms of employment status and income and this is reflected in higher levels of saving for retirement since the mid 1990s.

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R. Berthoud (2000) ‘Ethnic employment penalties in Britain’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 26, 3, 389416

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O. Gough and R. Hicks (2009) ‘Ethnic minorities retirement planning and personal accounts’, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 29, 9–10, 488–97.

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K. Hoff and A. Sen (2005) The Kin System as a Poverty Trap?, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 3575, Washington, DC: The World Bank,

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T. Warren and N. J. Britton (2003) ‘Ethnic diversity in economic wellbeing: the combined significance of income, wealth and assets levels’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 29, 1, 103–19.

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Social Policy and Society
  • ISSN: 1474-7464
  • EISSN: 1475-3073
  • URL: /core/journals/social-policy-and-society
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