Revealed: the pension pots of famous TV characters!

Revealed: the pension pots of famous TV characters! Image source: Getty Images

Whether heroes or villains, British TV has produced some of the most iconic characters in broadcasting. But no matter how long these characters stay on our screens, we rarely see them getting old and retiring. But if your favourite character was to stay on the screen long enough, how much would their pension pot be worth?

UK pension company, PensionBee has researched this very topic using their PensionBee Pension Calculator. It’s selected characters from some of the most popular British TV and Netflix shows in recent years and researched the age at which they could retire and how much pension they might have built up. 

The rich – with a large pension pot

It’s perhaps no surprise that the richest TV pensioners are those who’ve done professional jobs. The list includes therapists, detectives and estate agents.

Here are the richest characters:

  • Dr David Ferguson, Private Therapist (Netflix’s Behind Her Eyes) – a pension pot of over £209,594, including his State Pension. If Dr Ferguson retired at the UK’s national average age of 66, this pension pot could see him through to well past his 98th birthday.
  • Sherlock Holmes, Private Detective (BBC’s Sherlock) – his average annual salary could be £41,294, helping him build a pension pot of £189,492.  The fictional detective would likely be contributing around £275.30 a month from his salary under a workplace pension scheme.
  • Jonny Goodman, Estate Agent (Channel 4’s Friday Night Dinner) – pension savings of £184,569 give him an annual pension income of £17,200, plus his State Pension. His savings could also last past his 93rd year.
  • Mark Corrigan, Loan Manager (Channel 4’s Peep Show) – a pension pot of around £180,882 should last him well into his 90s.
  • Jen Barber, Relationship Manager (Channel 4’s The IT Crowd) – pension savings of £160,445 should also last her into her 90s.

The poor – with a tiny pension pot

Not all of our TV favourites are on track for a comfortable retirement. According to PensionBee’s research, ten TV characters could see their pensions run dry by the age of 82 (the average life expectancy in the UK) if they were to retire at 66.

Here are some of those poorer characters:

  • Nessa Jenkins, Arcade Supervisor (BBC’s Gavin & Stacey) – her pension pot of £66,917 could run out by the time she’s 73.
  • Sue Brockman, Personal Assistant (BBC’s Outnumbered) – her pension savings of £77,458 might run out by the time she’s 75.

Using their Pension Calculator, PensionBee calculated that  Gavin and Stacey’s Nessa Jenkins would potentially need to work and save for an additional five years beyond the average retirement age to hit the average UK pension income of £17,200.

The inbetweeners – with a reasonable pension pot

So, what about those characters that fall somewhere in the middle? Here they are:

  • Miranda, Shop Owner (BBC’s Miranda) – her pension pot of £131,891 should last until she’s 83.
  • Fleabag, Cafe Manager (BBC’s Fleabag) – with savings of £126,407 her pension could run out when she’s 83.

How does the average Brit’s pension pot compare?

The average single pensioner in the UK receives an annual income of £17,200 from their pension and just under £10,000 a year from a full State Pension. Some people will have very generous pensions and others won’t manage to save much at all.

If, like some of those TV characters, you’re somewhere in the middle, then spare a thought for Nessa this Christmas. She might be working at that arcade for a while longer yet!

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