Pandemic has altered 54% of UK adults’ retirement plans

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the retirement plans of more than half (54%) of UK adults, according to new a study by Aviva.

Across the generations, the research revealed the 35 to 44 age group are the most likely (68%) to have felt some impact on their retirement plans from the pandemic.

However, Aviva suggested this has also been positive for some, including one in ten who used lockdown to save more for their retirement.

According to Aviva, its findings expose the “polarising impact” of the pandemic as well as its “stop-start effect” on people’s future plans. While some people envisage retiring earlier and have gained confidence about living comfortably once they retire, nearly one in five respondents (18%) feel less secure about their financial future, which peaks at more than one in four (27%) for those aged 35 to 44.

Furthermore, 14% of people in the 35 to 44 age bracket anticipate their retirement date may be pushed back, while 16% have lost confidence in their ability to live comfortably once they have retired.

“For many of us, the pandemic has had a profound impact on our outlook and caused us to look again at our priorities,” said Aviva head of savings and retirement, Alistair McQueen. “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.

“The experience of having decisions taken out of our hands through successive lockdowns has left many people longing for a sense of control.”

When it comes to their finances, Aviva’s research suggested that more than two in five UK adults (41%) say life during the pandemic has encouraged them to build more long-term savings. People in the 35 to 44 age group are also the most likely to feel compelled to save more for their futures (54%), which was followed by 51% of those aged between 25 and 34.

“Much as it’s encouraging to see people striving to build more long-term savings, our findings show anxiety about the future is still weighing heavily on their minds,” McQueen added.

“As we all juggle personal priorities against a backdrop of uncertainty, it’s important to look for steps that can help us take control of our circumstances as best we can.”

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