Future of Work

An 18-year-old starting their career in 2016 can expect to earn their first £1 million just after turning 46 typically, according to projections. Prudential found that someone of this age on an average salary will have earned a total of £1 million during their working life by 2044 – at the age of 46 years and one month.

Using earnings figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Prudential estimated an 18-year-old would be earning £10,361 in 2016, building up to a typical wage of £51,679 in 2044, when they are aged 46.

As well as having the prospect of £1 million to look forward to, earners will also have paid over £238,000 in tax and national insurance by that point, according to Prudential. This is made up of £138,500 in tax and £99,680 in National Insurance.

The analysis assumes that future average wage inflation will mirror average pay increases seen between 2006 and 2015. Across the country, workers in London will reach their million pound milestone aged just 39, while at the other end of the spectrum, workers in Wales will be aged 50 by the time they hit the magic million, the research found.

Vince Smith-Hughes, a retirement income expert at Prudential, said: “For many people it can be surprising just how much a lifetime of earnings can add up to. With many people now working until later in life, someone earning the projected average salary over their career can expect to earn a total of over £2 million in their lifetime.

“With this in mind, the approach of saving as much as possible as early as possible in life is the most likely way for most people to be able to secure a comfortable income in retirement. Workers who have the opportunity to contribute to a workplace pension scheme will benefit from employer contributions as well as making a dent in the more than £200,000 they would have to pay the tax man on their first earned million.

“There are many different types of saving products with different levels of tax efficiency depending on your circumstance, and it should be remembered for example that the new Lifetime Isa will be another option when it becomes available in April 2017.”

Here are the average ages at which an 18-year-old worker will reach £1 million in earnings by region, according to analysis by Prudential:

:: London, 39 years, six months

:: South East, 45 years, six months

:: Scotland, 47 years, three months

:: East of England, 47 years, eight months

:: North West, 48 years, four months

:: West Midlands, 48 years, six months

:: North East, 48 years, eight months

:: South West, 48 years, 11 months

:: East Midlands, 49 years, one month

:: Yorkshire and the Humber, 49 years, three months

:: Wales, 50 years

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