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Coronavirus: 1.5 million people plan to delay retirement

Some workers could delay retirement by three years. Photo: Getty

Some 1.5 million people plan to delay retirement by three years as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One in six working people aged over 50 believe they will put off retirement, while 26% anticipate having to keep working on a full or part-time basis indefinitely, according to research by Legal & General. 

According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of workers aged above 65 years is already at a record high of 1.42 million.

On average, those who plan to delay their retirement expect to spend an additional three years in work. But 10% admit they could delay their plans by five years or more.

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These figures are significantly higher for the 26% of over 50s workers who have been furloughed or seen a pay decrease as a result of the pandemic. One in five of these workers will delay, and 38% expect to work indefinitely.

Chris Knight, CEO of Legal & General Retail Retirement said: “The financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be particularly pronounced for people aged over 50 who are still in work. While some people will choose to work for longer, or indefinitely, the key consideration when it comes to this research is that it seems this decision has been driven by the financial impact of the pandemic, rather than personal choice."

The news comes as an investigation by former pensions minister Steve Webb revealed older married women may be owed a share of £100m ($121.66m) in underpaid state pension contributions.