18 Mar 2021
Has the Covid-19 pandemic created a retirement opportunity gap for the over 50s? At Legal & General Retail Retirement we’ve been tracking the effect of coronavirus over the last year, and our latest research reveals increasing rates of ‘retirement inequality’ in the UK.
Last year we revealed that large numbers of workers aged over 50 were set to delay retirement, and this still holds true – our new data shows that 1.45 million people plan to delay retirement, by more than three years on average. A third of over 50s in work have seen a decrease in their monthly household income, by an average of £500. Elsewhere, ONS data shows unemployment has increased in those aged 50-64, rising from 2.6% in April 2020 to 4.1% in Dec 2020.
But while many have been badly hit financially, many of those in secure employment have been able to save more. We now see a gap emerging, as 1.3 million Brits seem to have benefitted financially from the pandemic. This cohort now anticipate retiring an average of two years earlier than they had previously planned to.
Significant changes in household income naturally lead to people adjusting financial priorities but, for those approaching retirement, such changes can have a long term impact. For over 50s worrying about their finances it’s important to have a clear understanding of what they have in their retirement pots, as well as other available assets that can boost income in retirement, such as property wealth.
It can be very hard for those struggling at the moment but we recommend that anyone who is saving less towards retirement, or has even stopped contributions altogether, returns to their previous savings levels as soon as they can.
Even for those lucky enough to be thinking about retiring early, planning for it can feel like a monumental task, one that’s so easy to put off. A sound starting point in our free online course, Retirement Planning Made Easy, created in partnership with The Open University, which breaks down the process in to short easy steps. And let’s not forget the emotional transition also which we have explored through our Rewirement articles and podcast.
The pandemic has resulted in big changes in many people’s retirement plans. One thing that remains consistent is consumers’ need for guidance and help in understanding their retirement options.
Chief Executive Officer
Legal & General Institutional Retirement
Notes to editors
Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK’s leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with international businesses in the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia. With almost £1.3 trillion in total assets under management*, we are the UK’s largest investment manager for corporate pension schemes and a UK market leader in pension risk transfer, alternative asset origination, life insurance, workplace pensions and retirement income. Through inclusive capitalism, we aim to build a better society by investing in long-term assets that benefit everyone.
* at 30 June 2021
Legal & General Retail Retirement’s mission is to help its customers lead longer, healthier, happier lives. We believe everyone should be able to have a ‘more colourful retirement’. The Division comprises the Group’s retirement savings and income, later life lending and care solutions businesses. In 2020, LGRR wrote £910 million of annuity premiums and issued £791 million of lifetime and retirement interest only mortgages.
(As of June 2021)