More than half of adults have changed their retirement plans after the pandemic, mostly for the worse though some have emerged better off, new research reveals.
Overall one in five feel more insecure about their future finances, while just one in 10 saved harder and feel more positive about retirement.
People aged 35-44 are most likely to have seen their plans for old age take a hit, with a quarter feeling less secure and one in six considering working for longer, according to the survey by Aviva.
In this age group, only 10 per cent have saved more and 8 per cent say they might retire earlier as a result of the pandemic.
People aged 55-plus are the most likely to say the crisis had no impact on their retirement plans.
>>>How do you sort out your pension if you feel it’s falling short? Find out below
The Aviva research also found:
– People are evenly split over how much control they have over their priorities after the pandemic, with 41 per cent saying they have more now and the same proportion feeling they have less than before
– Two in five adults say Covid-19 has encouraged them to build more long-term savings
– Some 53 per cent have suspended or cancelled a major event or ambition during the pandemic – of these, 16 per cent put off starting a new job, 13 per cent postponed buying a new house, 12 per cent reconsidered starting a business, 10 per cent waited longer to have a baby and 10 per cent delayed getting married.
Aviva questioned 2,000 adults in a nationally representative survey carried out in October.
Alistair McQueen, head of savings and retirement at Aviva, says: ‘For many of us, the pandemic has had a profound impact on our outlook and caused us to look again at our priorities.
‘The experience of a global health crisis has led many people to put plans on hold and consider the wider implications around significant issues like retirement plans.’
Meanwhile, separate research from Hargreaves Lansdown found a third of people aged 45-54 have no plans to get their finances sorted out in their final working years before retirement.
Among the rest in this age group, 41 per cent planned to continue full time in their current job, 10 per cent said they would go part time and 5 per cent planned to stop work completely.
Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves, which surveyed 1,000 people in September, says: ‘These findings point to a worrying lack of planning among those closest to retirement on how they plan to spend their remaining working years.
‘The pandemic may well have played a part in this with the economic upheaval potentially causing chaos for people’s retirement planning with many older workers retiring early after being made redundant.
‘There’s also the chance that the investment market volatility we saw earlier in the pandemic has had an impact on people’s pensions causing them to put off their plans for retirement a while longer.’
How to get your pension on track
If you are worried about your pension and whether you will have enough, read a full 10-step guide to sorting it out here.
To get started, investigate your existing pensions. Broadly speaking, you need to ask schemes the following:
– The current fund value
– The current transfer value – because there might be a penalty to move
– Whether the pension is in a final salary or defined contribution scheme
– If there are any guarantees – for instance, a guaranteed annuity rate – and if you would lose them if you moved the fund
– The pension projection at retirement age.
You can use a pension calculator to see if you have enough – find This is Money’s here.
You should add the forecast figures to what you anticipate getting in state pension, which is currently £179.60 a week or around £9,300 a year if you qualify for the full new rate.
Get a state pension forecast here.
If you are tempted to merge your old pensions, check out some tips on how to decide here.
If you have lost track of old pensions, the Government’s free tracing service is here.
Take care if you do an online search for the Pension Tracing Service as many companies using similar names will pop up in the results.
These will also offer to look for your pension, but try to charge or flog you other services, and could be fraudulent.
Women, who tend to miss out because they get lower pay and do unpaid caring work, can find out how to increase retirement savings here.