'Comfort' pension level is £15,000, says study
Those planning their retirement should try and plan for an income of at least £15,000 a year, according to an industry report.
Once people reach that income level, they begin to feel more comfortable and more financially secure.
But there is no happiness benefit above £40,000 a year, said the National Employment Savings Trust (Nest).
However, other experts recommended a "fixed percentage" method of planning.
The report found that wellbeing jumps significantly once retirees earn between £15,000 and £20,000 a year, including their state pension.
While 43% of people in that category felt financially comfortable, just 24% felt comfortable when earning less than £15,000.
Many people earning less than that find it difficult to afford energy bills and groceries, said the Nest report.
The £15,000 contentment threshold applies however many people there are in the household.
The research will help to give people a more accurate idea of how much they need to save for retirement on top of their state pensions, a key idea behind the government's pension reforms.
The revised state pension is expected to be worth at least £7,500 a year when it comes in in April 2016.
On that basis a 22-year-old earning £20,600 a year would only need to make the minimum pension contribution to get close to the £15,000 threshold, by the state retirement age.
With a 4% employee contribution into his or her pension, and a 3% employer contribution, that person could expect a total income of £14,260.
However, a 30-year-old starting payments on the same salary could expect to receive much less - £11,790 - including the state pension.
A 40 year-old would receive just £10,210, so might need to consider increasing contributions.
Nest - a non-profit-making organisation which supplies pensions under automatic enrolment- has also produced some tips for saving into a pension.
It claims that if a 30-year-old worker replaced a takeaway with a home-cooked meal at least once a week, they could save £12 a week.
If all of that was paid into a pension, it could build up to a pot worth more than £50,000.
By buying a packed lunch to take to work, people could amass a pension pot of more than £63,000.
But other experts believe people might be better off planning for an income which is a fixed percentage of the amount they used to earn while working.
In other words, those who earn more while working will need a bigger pension when they stop.
"The lower someone's pre-retirement earnings are, the higher proportion of those earnings their pension will need to be in retirement," said Tom McPhail, pensions expert with Hargreaves Lansdown.
"If someone is on a salary of £15,000, they will want a replacement rate of at least 80%," he said.
"Someone on a salary of £30,000 might want a two-thirds replacement rate."
Sam: 21st May 2014 16:11:00