Proportion of savers delaying retirement due to Covid-19 increases to 29%

The number of workers delaying retirement as a result of the pandemic has increased by over a quarter in the past year, with 29 per cent of workers changing their retirement plans compared to the 23 per cent in October 2020, research from Fidelity International has found.

The findings highlighted the financial challenges faced by savers amid the pandemic, particularly older savers, with the proportion of people delaying their retirement as a result of the pandemic increasing to 33 per cent amongst over-55s.

The survey also showed that just over a fifth (21 per cent) of workers now intend to “phase into” retirement instead of setting a cut-off date for working, with 30 per cent of them doing so to save more after re-assessing their pensions during the pandemic.

In addition to this, 27 per cent of those delaying their retirement plans did so to save more money to fund long-term care, while 23 per cent sought to support adult children or other family members financially, and nearly a fifth (18 per cent) were looking to recover retirement savings lost amid the pandemic.

Published amid Pensions Awareness Week, the findings showed that for those workers who plan to phase into or delay retirement, the pandemic has pushed the age they plan to retire back by an average of two and a half years, which is in line with previous findings.

Confidence in finding or maintaining a job has fallen by 18 percentage points, however, as 50 per cent of workers were confident that they would be able to find or maintain a job, compared to 61 per cent last October.

Furthermore, nearly a third (32 per cent) of respondents stated that they do not think they will have enough money to enjoy the retirement they would like.

Commenting on the findings, Fidelity International investment director, Maike Currie, said: “For many, the effects of the pandemic are far from over. Despite government interventions such as furlough and business support schemes helping to prop up households financially, people are still concerned over a future that has become increasingly blurry following the events of the past two years.

“Many are choosing to put more safety measures in place, whether by re-evaluating their pensions, working longer, or changing their expectations for retirement. In essence, workers are battening down the hatches to protect themselves against what may come next.

“Pension Awareness Day is an opportunity to reflect on your retirement goals and how to achieve them, especially after a period of such immense uncertainty.

"At the same time, reviewing your pension savings and the implications for your retirement shouldn’t just occur once a year, but rather be part of your ongoing long-term goals.

“Whether you use the day as a prompt to start thinking about your pension, or reassess what you’ve already accumulated, establishing these habits will make sure you are better prepared for the years ahead.”

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has also published research in light of Pensions Awareness Week, which revealed that a lack of basic pensions knowledge is still prevalent amongst non-retirees.

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