MILLENNIALS would rather own a pet than a pension. Almost a quarter of those in their 20s and 30s want to have a cat or dog, compared to a fifth who want to save for old age, a study reveals.


Laura and Teddy yesterday (Image: NC)

And if they already have a pension, 12 per cent say they are more likely to spend money keeping their little companion happy than putting extra cash into their pot.

The research was compiled by the Association of British Insurers as they launched their Love Your Pension campaign.

Its latest YouTube video is designed to remind those between 18 and 29 how important saving for old age is.

The Love Your Pension film stars four dogs brunching at the “Central Bark Cafe”, complaining about the daily grind, and talking about their future plans.

The final message is that to avoid working “like a dog all your life”, you should love your pension. Yvonne Braun, director of policy, long-term savings and protection at the association, said: “Auto-enrolment into a pension scheme has achieved amazing things and take up of workplace pensions has never been higher among the under-30s.

“What’s important now is that savers, particularly millennials, appreciate the value of what they’re building up, and feel good about it. Ideally our light-hearted campaign will also encourage people to think about how they can save more so when it comes to retirement they have plenty of options.

“The dogs know what they’re talking about – you don’t want to have to work like a dog all your life.”

One in five millennials says their pension either worries them or does not feel like a reality, so they simply put off thinking about it.

But increasing the amount of salary put into a pension pot at the beginning of a working life, even by just one per cent, can add tens of thousands of pounds to retirement income, campaigners say.


Laura Hylton admits she prioritises looking after her dog over making contributions to her pension. Laura, 26, works as a postwoman in Buckinghamshire, but insists she has a “strong emotional connection” with her beloved terrier.

She said: “I work full-time and work hard to ensure that my living expenses are met every month.

“I have a terrier named Teddy, who is also a big financial priority for me. For me, Teddy is not just a pet. I feel a sense of responsibility with him in the same way that I do for a family member or friend. “Because I am with Teddy every day and have such a strong emotional connection with him, I prioritise him over other financial commitments, like my pension, which don’t really feel relevant or real right now.

“I do not make additional contributions to my pension, but it’s something that’s always at the back of my mind.

“My priority is making sure that I build up savings and getting through my day-to-day living expenses, like rent and groceries. I know that my pension and retirement are important, but it feels too far away for me to worry about.”