Property is a better option for funding retirement than a pension-, the Bank of England's chief economist has claimed.
Andy Haldane made the comment despite having a gold-plated guaranteed pension which will pay him nearly £84,000 (NZD$152,400) a year, or more than three times the average workers' salary, when he retires.
As the Daily Telegraph newspaper reported in May, Haldane, 49, admitted that despite being one of the country's leading economists and working at the Bank since leaving university, he could not make "the remotest sense of pensions" because they are too complicated.
However his latest comments were met with a barrage of criticism by Ros Altmann, the recently departed pensions minister. She said it was "irresponsible" to suggest people should rely on property instead of pensions.
Financial advisers generally recommend older savers "diversify" their money as much as possible by holding a range of assets including shares, bonds, property and cash.
As money paid into pensions attracts UK tax relief at 20 per cent for basic rate taxpayers, and 40 per cent for higher rate taxpayers, they are normally seen as the best way to save for a retirement income.
But as the rates available for savers turning cash into lifetime incomes have drastically fallen in recent years, a growing number of pensioners are becoming buy-to-let investors in a bid to use property to turn their savings into a higher income.
Landlords in some areas of the UK can expect to receive around 9 per cent a year income on their investment. This compares to over 55s buying an annuity, who can now expect to receive less than 2.5 per cent a year, depending on their age and health.
Lady Altmann also claimed Haldane was "divorced from reality"as he also said he does not consider himself wealthy, despite a basic salary of more than £180,000 (NZD$326,658), owning two homes and having the gold-plated pension that will increase in value if he carries on working at the Bank.
Haldane said: "I see myself as not having to worry about money, but plainly not wealthy. I never have [felt wealthy], and never expect to in this job. I'm in a position where I don't have to worry about money when paying for the things in life my family needs."
According to the Bank's latest annual report, Haldane's basic salary is £182,088 (NZD$330,411) and his pension currently worth £83,816 (NZD$152,089) a year. He can start collecting it from the age of 60 when it will be even more valuable.
Calculations by pension firm, Hargreaves Lansdown, show that to buy this level of pension in the private sector by turning a lump sum into an annuity, someone would need a pot worth £3.5m (NZD$6.35m).
In addition to his pension Haldane has two homes,- one in Surrey and a holiday home on the Kent coast. He told the Sunday Times: "It ought to be pension but it's almost certainly property. As long as we continue not to build anything like as many houses in this country as we need to ... we will see what we've had for the better part of a generation, which is house prices relentlessly heading north."
Haldane placed the blame for not feeling rich partly on his decision to educate his three children privately: "They are among the reasons why I don't feel wealthy and never will, I imagine."