Retirement plans altered by pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the retirement plans of one in eight older workers, according to research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).

05 Oct 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the retirement plans of one in eight older workers, according to research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).

The think tank's study was based on a survey of data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) COVID-19 survey covering some 10,000 people aged 50 and over.

The findings show 13% of older workers have already changed their planned retirement age due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Over half of those are now planning to retire later than they had previously intended. This is largely due to pension funds that have fallen in value or the ability to work from home.

Almost a third of older workers report that their financial situation has worsened because of the crisis.

Commenting on the survey, Rowena Crawford, Associate Director at the IFS, said: 'The current pandemic risks having serious and long-term financial consequences for older workers, affecting living standards into and through retirement.

'The crisis has also been disruptive to major life plans, with one in eight older workers so far changing the age at which they planned to retire.

'Those on furlough are now more likely than those working to be planning to retire earlier and it will be important to monitor that this does not represent a rise in involuntary retirement among people discouraged from finding new work.

'On a positive note, those working from home are now more likely to be planning to retire later; suggesting changes to work practices could benefit some older workers.'

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