More: Pensions and Retirement in the 1970s

Pensions Retirement 1970s

As you may have already seen, here at, we’ve been exploring the changing face of retirement throughout the decades, starting from the 50s, all the way up to the present day. This time, it’s the turn of the 70s, so grab your flares and stick some Abba on the stereo, and let’s take a look at what was happening in the world of retirement in the hey days of glam rock!

The 70s were a time of huge social change; the mean age of first marriages was at an all time low, at around 22 years of age, and the school leaving age was increased to 16. It’s hard to measure the exact effect, if any, this had on these women’s retirements, but it’s certainly true that for some, this condensed the amount of time they had to work and pay into their own pensions.

Helping Those Without Pensions

On the 5th April, 1975, the State Graduated Pension Scheme that had been running from 1961 was finally terminated and the very next day, the creation of the Occupational Pensions Board was announced. In 1978, SERPS or State Earnings Related Pension Schemes were started. The aim of SERPS was to provide a pension income for people that would be roughly 50% of the average salary. Another big change in retirement came hand in hand with this, as occupational pensions started to honour the needs of widows who were left without their own pension income due to being housewives rather than wage-winners. More and more schemes started to offer pension annuities to women, offering them a third to a half of their late husbands’ pensions – a move which is sure to have made life a little easier for many families in the UK.

Early Retirement and Retiring Abroad

People started to opt for early retirement in the 1970s, a trend that continued throughout the 80s too. Those in retirement were also starting to enjoy more opportunities that had been previously unavailable; the 70s brought a huge expansion in the airline industry, and with this came cheaper flights and last minute money saving deals . Tour operators used this to provide a wide range of package holidays, allowing more people than ever before the opportunity to travel. For those in early retirement especially, this gave them a chance for exploration while in retirement and for some, they enjoyed it so much that they stayed abroad and became among some of the very first UK pensioners to embrace the expat lifestyle.

Previous Blogs:

Top 10 New Years Resolutions
Pension and Retirement in the 1960s
Retirement after the war
Retirement turning digital?


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