Populus Poll

The Saga Populus Panel is the largest research panel, gauging the attitudes and opinions of today's over 50s in the UK.
Saga/Populus Panel October 2017: Saga Populus logo

Saga/Populus Panel October 2017

Executive summary



  • One fifth (20%) of Saga respondents say they have been a victim of cybercrime and three-in-ten (29%) say they know someone who has been the victim of cybercrime. These figures are in keeping with results from August 2016 (when this question was asked previously).
  • Saga respondents are most worried about are someone stealing their identity (30%) and someone cloning their online back details and using them fraudulently (25%).

Retirement living

  • Almost half (46%) of Saga respondents would most like to live in their own home during retirement and a quarter (25%) would like to live in a bungalow. This proportion decreases with social class; 50% of respondents in the AB social grade want to live in their own home compared to 33% of DE respondents. Interest in living a bungalow is more attractive to DE respondents (39%) than AB respondents (22%).
  • Almost twice as many respondents would chose to live in a smaller home than they currently do (9%) rather than chose to live in a larger one (4%), with respondents aged 50-59 most likely to want to live in a smaller home (14%).
  • Housing costs (20%) and the lack of their preferred housing type (15%) are the biggest factors stopping Saga respondents from living in their ideal property in retirement.
  • Half (50%) of Saga respondents would be most in favour of the Chancellor removing stamp duty for first time buyers and for those downsizing in later life in the Autumn budget, while one fifth (20%) would be most in favour of removing stamp duty solely for older people looking to downsize.
  • Two-fifths (41%) of respondents disagree with the suggestion that the Government could move the liability for paying stamp duty from house buyers to sellers while only one in ten agree (13%).

Pension tax

  • Around half of Saga respondents across all ages, genders, social classes and regions would favour the Chancellor keeping pension tax relief linked to people’s income tax rate. No more than one third would be in favour of a flat rate where everyone can claim 33%.
  • Just under half of Saga respondents (42%) think the Chancellor should raise the amount people can save tax free into their pensions and half (50%) disagree that the Chancellor should cut the amount people can save tax free into their pension. Respondents aged 70-79 are the most likely to support further cuts to tax-free pension savings (18%) and are the most likely to be against raising the tax-free pension allowance (23%).

University fees

  • Saga respondents think the government should cut tuition fees (30%) or stop tuition fees altogether (24%). AB respondents are also the most likely to support both of these actions (31% and 26% respectively).
  • Support for raising tuition fees is very low (3%) while one in ten support freezing tuition fees at their current level (12%).

Energy Bills

  • Saga respondents are generally sceptical of smart meter technology; half of respondents feel they need to understand more about energy smart meters (53%) and are not comfortable with the levels of personal information they pass on to energy companies (46%). Female respondents (57%) feel they need to understand what smart meters mean for them more than male respondents (49%) while male respondents are more concerned than their female counterparts about people hacking into them (27% and 25% respectively).
  • One quarter (26%) of respondents have had a smart meter installed while one in five have refused to have one installed in their home (20%).
  • Smart meter installation is highest among men (27%) and in the North East/West (35% and 31% respectively) while respondents aged 70-79 are the most likely to have refused a smart meter (22%).
  • The proportions of respondents worried (63%) or confident (62%) about their energy bills this winter are almost equal however the proportion of those worried about fuel costs has increased from 44% in October 2016.


  • More than one in ten Saga respondents (14%) have had an appointment cancelled by the NHS. Specialist and GP appointments (7% and 3% respectively) are cancelled the most, while surgical operations and non-surgical hospital visits are cancelled the least (both 2%).
  • These cancellations most often cause delays of 2-4 weeks (25%). Delays in London are more likely to be longer with respondents most frequently reporting delays of between 1-2 months (21%).
  • Muscle, bone or joint problems are the most common condition affecting respondents when they were affected by their cancellation (23%) with women more likely to be affected with them than men (27% vs 20% respectively).
  • One tenth of Saga respondents (9%) say that these delays to their appointments have not limited what they can do much or at all.

Populus interviewed 10,104 Saga respondents, all aged 50+ online between 17th and 23rd October 2017. Data was weighted to be nationally representative. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules; for more information www.populus.co.uk

Contact us

The Saga Group Communications Team only deal with enquiries from the media.

If you're not a journalist, visit our contact us page for a full list of telephone numbers.

Lisa Harris

Head of Communications

01303 774716

Angela Clifton

Deputy Head of Communications

01303 776504