Lending into retirementFor many people, the route to paying off their mortgage will be to continue making monthly payments until the amount is completely cleared. However, recent research has shown that around 9% of those who still have mortgages are planning to use their pension pot to clear the outstanding balance.

The research was conducted by Partnership, an insurance firm. The research took place between 2014 and 2015 and included a total of 3,035 people aged between 40 and 70. They discovered that nearly one in 10 people were going to use at least part of their pension pot to clear their mortgage. Some of those who took part in the research said they may use all their pension pot. If this percentage is used to estimate the number of people in the population with mortgages who may go down this route, it would include 631,000 adults.

A difference between 2014 and this year

However if we delve into the figures in a little more depth, we find that 14% of those interviewed said they would use their pension pots in this way in 2014. This year that figure has reduced to 9%.

Other people stated they had other ideas about how to pay off their mortgage. The vast majority (71%) intended to keep going with their mortgage payments each month until they were cleared. A quarter of those interviewed intended to make lump-sum contributions to reduce the amount they owed more quickly.

Over half-a-million people are looking to an inheritance to help clear their mortgage balance. This figure is drawn from the 8% who responded with this information in the survey, and is calculated according to the population with mortgages as a whole.

No idea on how to repay the mortgage

Perhaps more disturbingly, there was a small percentage of people questioned this year (7%) who had no idea how they would repay the remainder of their mortgage. Perhaps we could be generous and assume this means they have not yet made a decision on how to do so. However it might also mean this group of people do not have any way of repaying it once they reach retirement age.

Clearly some people are either relying on their pension pots – now accessible under the new rules – to pay off the balance on their property, while others are as yet undecided about how to pay them off. Some may decide to sell up and move to a smaller property. Some mentioned the idea of taking in a lodger to help bring in additional funds to clear the mortgage.

It will be intriguing to see whether the percentage of people looking to dip into their pension pot will drop again next year, or whether it will remain much the same. It has decreased from 2014 so perhaps more people will have other options in place by then. Planning for the future is always important, no more so than when there is a mortgage to pay off.

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