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Youngster dreads teaching into her 60s

Ruth Hanson admits it is unusual for someone under 30 to be so interested in pensions.

She even paid into a private scheme while working as a temp before deciding to begin teacher training at the University of Central England in Birmingham.

"I'm already starting to get stressed about retirement, pensions and things, even though I'm only in my 20s," she said. But living with two parents who were both teachers, and who have found their pension schemes did not live up to expectations, has given her a constant reminder of the need to plan for retirement.

She is particularly worried about the increase in retirement age. She has been exhausted by the demands of teaching placements.

She said: "I don't think a lot of people realise just how physically demanding teaching is. I would have serious concerns about people doing it in their 60s."

Ms Hanson, 24, said she expected to start work with debts of about Pounds 12,000, despite living in her family home throughout her course. She said it was unlikely she could afford higher pension contributions when she started work.

Some of the changes would be for the better, she said, such as better provisions to top up the pension voluntarily. "It's important to have flexibility so that people are able to make better choices. That's long overdue," she said.

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