Savings and life events

Authors: Stephen McKay, Elaine Kempson
Funded by: HM Treasury, Department for Work and Pensions
Published by: Corporate Document Services
Publication date: June 2003
Report number: DWP Research Report No 194
ISBN: 1841236101

The aim of this project was to investigate which groups are able to save, and which are not. It also analysed the effects of particular life events, such as leaving home, marital breakdown, and in particular retirement, on patterns of saving. A secondary objective was to consider how far the possession of savings is able to offset the potentially negative effects of particular transitions, including job loss, compared to those without accumulated assets.

The overall aim of the research was to study the relationship between key life events and patterns of saving and dis-saving. Within this, there were a number of specific objectives:

The study involved secondary analysis of ten waves of the British Household Panel Survey. The savings module within BHPS asks all individual respondents a relatively comprehensive series of questions, and the core of this section on savings has been largely unchanged since 1991 (the first wave). Additional information on wealth and debt was collected in waves 5 and 10.

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