3% of savers halt pension contributions amid pandemic

Three per cent of UK savers halted their pension contributions during the Covid-19 pandemic, research commissioned by The People's Pension (TPP) has revealed.

The survey, undertaken by YouGov, found that 82 per cent of UK pension savers did not appear to have made any changes to their pension during the past seven months.

Two per cent had withdrawn money from their pension and a further 2 per cent cut back pension contributions since the onset of UK lockdown in March 2020, although 2 per cent increased their contributions.

The research also showed that approximately one in seven (14 per cent) have checked the value of their pension savings in the past seven months.

TPP highlighted the findings as evidence that UK savers have continued to save for retirement, despite more than four in 10 (45 per cent) workers being impacted by the pandemic in some way, with 15 per cent of those surveyed furloughed in 2020.

Commenting on the findings, TPP director of policy, Phil Brown, stated: “This has been the most difficult year that most of us can remember, with the fallout from the pandemic having an impact on almost everything that we do.

“Despite the financial hardship that coronavirus has caused, this national survey confirms what our data has shown us throughout; that it has had very little impact on pension saving.

“Even though there were early fears to the contrary, workplace pension saving through automatic enrolment has held up very well during 2020, confirming its status as one of the most successful government policies of the 21st Century.

“This research serves as a timely reminder of how much value millions of workers place on saving for their retirement.”

This was echoed by Royal London pension specialist, Helen Morrisey, who has previously warned of the potential long-term impacts that pausing pension contributions can have on savers.

She stated: “As people face unprecedented uncertainty there is always the fear that people will look to stop or cut contributions as a means of saving money.

"The concern is that this can continue for long periods of time which can undermine people’s long term financial security in retirement.

"The results of this survey show that people are remaining calm which is the best possible news for their pension planning."

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