The COVID-19 pandemic may have jeopardised the retirement plans of millions of UK workers, research suggests.
About 13% those aged 40 to 67 have had to delay their retirement as a result of the financial fallout caused by the coronavirus crisis, according to a survey of 2,000 people by My Pension Expert.
On top of this, almost as many – about 12% – have had to decrease the amount they contribute to their pension since the beginning of 2020.
Meanwhile, nearly one in 10 (9%) have either chosen or been forced into early retirement as a result of the pandemic.
The study also found over two-fifths (42%) of workers in this age group have no clear retirement plan in place, with nearly half (47%) admitting they find researching retirement finance options “complicated.”
Nearly three quarters (72%) of over-40s have never sought financial advice for their pension.
Almost half (48%) said they trust their employer to manage their pension plan, while a quarter (24%) believe consulting a financial adviser would be “too expensive.”
As a result, 6% have already withdrawn money from their pension without seeking financial advice, the survey found.
“The coronavirus pandemic has upended manual people’s financial plans. However, it is particularly concerning that so many over-40s have either been forced to delay retirement or accept it at short notice,” said Andrew Megson at My Pension Expert.
“In the face of the economic disruption caused by COVID-19, people approaching retirement age should have a clear strategy in place for how they will save and eventually spend their pension pot.
“Consulting with an independent financial advisor is an important first step. People may think that doing so is prohibitively expensive, but this is far from the case.”
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