Pandemic prompts retirement rethink from 46% of over-50s

Almost half (46 per cent) of those approaching retirement say the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted their attitude to retirement, according to Wealth at Work’s Retirement Survey 2021.

Research from the financial education and guidance provider found that, while 54 per cent of the group of non-retired over-50s said the pandemic had not had an effect on their retirement plans, over a fifth (22 per cent) said the pandemic had made them want to retire earlier and as soon as they can.

Conversely, the research found that the pandemic had left 13 per cent of respondents wanting to delay retirement because they realised they enjoy working, while just over one in 10 (11 per cent) have had to delay retirement as they can no longer afford to stop working.

A further 4 per cent said they had been forced to consider early retirement due to the threat of redundancy.

Wealth at Work director, Jonathan Watts-Lay, said: “Retirement plans in different ways. Whilst it has given some a new perspective on life and they can’t wait to retire, others have realised that they enjoy working and aren’t ready to give it up.”

He added that those who were having to work for longer than they had planned might have seen “their savings taking a hit due to reduced household income or a fall in the value of their pensions and investments”.

Watts Lay continued: “Whilst this uncertainty can make retirement planning very challenging, what is certain is the more you plan for retirement and review your plans as your circumstances change, the more likely that you will be able to deal with all eventualities.

“Whether that be realising that you can’t yet afford to retire so have to work for longer, or even that retirement is more affordable than you thought.

“Many organisations recognise that their employees will need help with their retirement planning, especially through this difficult period and are putting support in place. It is worth speaking to your employer to find out what help is available.”

The new research comes after Wealth at Work revealed in June that its polling had found that the majority (84 per cent) of employers believed that employees would have changed their retirement plans in light of the pandemic.

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