Engaging Ethnic Minorities with Retirement Planning

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Sunday 07 April 2024

12:00 PM - 01:00 PM


CC2.1, TechnoCentre, Puma Way , Coventry, CV1 2TT

Event details

This seminar will discuss what can be done to engage minorities with retirement planning


In the UK and across Europe, the ageing population is causing a strain on the social systems and policies that are in place to provide future retirees with a sufficient income. In the UK, the state pension accounts for 10.4% of all government spending, which is equivalent to 4.8% of 21/22’s GDP. As the population continues to age, it is expected that the proportion of expenditure on pensions will double over the next 50 years. This poses a significant challenge for the government as an inadequate retirement income can lead to health issues and an increased need for social assistance, such as means-tested pension credits.

The government estimated in 2013 that automatic enrolment, coupled with the launch of a new state pension in 2016, would help reduce the number of individuals who retire with insufficient funds. Automatic enrolment has been a positive development overall, but some groups need greater encouragement to save for their retirement through a pension. There may be various reasons why certain cohorts are not as engaged, such as the fact that pension savings require delayed gratification, which may discourage some people.

Recent Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association analysis shows that the cost of a comfortable retirement is increasing when there are ongoing discussions about raising the age for which the state pension could be claimed. For many, at a time when index-linked final salary pension schemes have all but disappeared, a well-funded retirement will be a pipe dream.

This seminar will discuss how cohorts can be engaged so they do not face hardship in retirement.


Dr Harjit Sekhon's area of research extends beyond traditional academic research - the outputs of which appear in academic journals, to include research with an impact. The research with impact is very much about completing projects that make a difference to the business or the individual. Depending on the project’s remit, over the years, Harjit has used both quantitative and qualitative methods to undertake research for different types of businesses. This has ranged from setting up customer satisfaction-type projects to projects looking at purchase decision-making behaviours. Being in a position to draw on this reservoir of expertise means that Harjit can support businesses to understand the needs of their customers and markets fully. 

There has been a recent focus on retirement planning and how to prevent certain groups of people from facing financial difficulties during their retirement years. Although a lot of data is available about how much people save, it is important to gain more insight into the behavioural reasons that influence their decisions. Without understanding these reasons, it is likely that some groups will still face financial vulnerability during their retirement.

Harjit, along with Dr Lindsey Appleyard, was the founding co-Director of Credit U, which is a platform designed to ensure that those facing the most significant risk of being excluded from mainstream financial products are in a position to have access to community-based regulated financial services, to support their specific needs. 

Harjit has previously collaborated with colleagues from another university to establish the UK’s first financial services trust index. This index gauged trust levels across various financial services. Unlike binary questions, the trust index took into account the factors that contributed to building trust between financial services companies and their customers.

Harjit has been involved in a project with his colleagues that focuses on examining the challenges that sports officials face during matches. The project aims to find ways to reduce the demands placed on officials and make their job easier.