• 29% of workers have made changes to their retirement plans because of Covid-19 - an increase of a quarter compared to last year
  • 30% are delaying retirement to save more towards their pensions, while 18% are making up for lost savings following the pandemic
  • Workers are delaying their retirement by an average of two and a half years

London, 13 September 2021: The number of workers delaying retirement due to the pandemic has increased by over a quarter to 29%1, according to research by Fidelity International.

The findings highlight the ongoing financial challenges many people have faced throughout the past 18 months. Fidelity’s previous research (October 2020) revealed 23% of workers said they had made changes to their retirement plans as a result of Covid-192. Less than a year later (August 2021) this has increased to 29% of all workers, and 33% of all over-55s. 

The research comes ahead of Pension Awareness Day on Wednesday 15 September, which is supported by Fidelity International and encourages better engagement with pensions. 

Jackie Boylan, Head of FundsNetwork at Fidelity International, commented: “These figures highlight the scale of disruption the pandemic has brought upon so many people’s plans for retirement. What already felt like a significant financial milestone may feel even further out of reach, requiring complex decisions and a change of approach in financial planning. 

FundsNetwork’s second ‘ IFA DNA’ report found that more than half (55%) of advisers expect the number of people seeking financial advice to increase within the next five years, and more than a third (35%) have noticed a decline in their clients’ financial wellbeing3. The advice industry has a significant role to play in supporting them as they assess how their circumstances have changed in the past 18-months, to make sure their financial goals - including their plans for retirement - remain in sight.”

Fidelity’s research found that just over a fifth (21%) of workers intend to ‘phase into’ retirement instead of stopping work on a set date. The biggest motive behind this is almost a third (30%) of workers wanting to save more after re-assessing their pensions during the pandemic.

People are also choosing to press pause on their retirement plans to save more money in case long-term care is needed in the future (27%). Other reasons include needing to support adult children or other family members financially (23%) and recovering retirement savings lost due to Covid-19 (18%).

For those workers who plan to phase into or delay retirement, the pandemic has continued to push the age they plan to retire back by an average of two and a half years. However, confidence in finding or maintaining a job has fallen by a fifth (18%). 

Last October, 61% of workers planning on delaying their retirement were confident that they would be able to find or maintain a job - this has now dropped to just 50%. What’s more, 32% don’t think they will have enough money to enjoy the retirement they would like.

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