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Covid-19 outbreak forces 1.5 million Brits to delay retirement

Some 26% of over 50s said they will have to keep working on a full or part-time basis indefinitely

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The coronavirus pandemic will force many people to change their retirement plans or cancel them indefinitely, research has found.

Legal & General Retail Retirement surveyed 2,004 UK adults in work over 50 and found 1.5 million people will delay retirement due to coronavirus.

Some one-in-six people (15%) aged over 50 and in work believe they will delay, while 26% said they will have to keep working on a full or part-time basis indefinitely.

On average, those who plan to delay their retirement expect to spend an additional three years in work.

Furloughed

The survey also found 10% could delay their plans by five years or more.

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.

Some 19% will delay and 38% expect to work indefinitely.

Strong understanding of options

Chris Knight, chief executive 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.

“We know this is a key stage in people’s retirement planning so seeing a material impact on your household income will naturally lead to pessimism about achieving your retirement goals.

“While it would be naïve to say that these financial issues will not have an impact on people’s ability to retire, it’s important for people to have a strong understanding of the options available to them before concluding that their retirement needs to be delayed or forgotten indefinitely.”

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