4.8 million people over 50 and in work fear losing their job because of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to new research from Legal & General Retail Retirement. The research also reveals fears of finding a new role, with one in three (31%) concerned about finding new employment in the event of losing their job.
15 Sep 2020
With the Government’s furlough scheme set to end in October, recent data from the Office for National Statistics showed there were already 730,000 fewer employees on payroll in July than in March 2020, with over 65s one of the groups most likely to have been impacted2.The Centre for Ageing Better also found that, when out of work, older staff are far more likely to face long-term unemployment, with just a third of over-50s returning to work after losing their job, compared with more than half (54%) of 35 to 49-year-olds3.
Amidst this career uncertainty, a large number of over 50s are now facing financial worries as a direct result of Covid-19. Over a third (37%) have seen their household income decrease during the pandemic, as companies furlough staff while cutting back on wages and head count. For workers who have seen their income drop, large numbers have turned to their reserves to counter this, with nearly a quarter (25%) having dipped into their savings to help meet every day living costs. Over two thirds (68%) are concerned about their cost of living currently, with a third (35%) reducing their daily expenditure as a result. With incomes impacted, well over half (58%) are also worried about how the pandemic will impact their savings long-term.
To help address future financial uncertainty, Legal & General has developed a free online course with The Open University, called ‘Retirement planning made easy’, which is available on their OpenLearn platform and aims to equip those approaching retirement with the knowledge required to instil financial resilience in later life.
The introductory 3-hour course combines guidance, short videos and tools and covers various aspects of retirement planning, from how to budget for retirement, how different types of pensions work and what to do if pension income is at risk of falling short.
Legal & General hopes that by championing good quality, straightforward, informative content to encourage later life planning, it can reduce some of the anxiety currently being felt by older workers unsure how to plan their retirement.
The information contained in this press release is intended solely for journalists and should not be relied upon by private investors or any other persons to make financial decisions.
Emma Byron, CEO, Legal & General Retirement Income: "With the UK now formally in a recession, and the end of the furlough scheme on the horizon, many over 50s are feeling apprehensive about their job security. It’s an unfortunate fact that this group is less likely to secure another role once out of work, meaning redundancy can have serious long-term repercussions on their retirement.
For those worried about their finances, it is better to be aware of the options available to them, rather than burying their head in the sand. To encourage people to do this easily, we have launched a free online course, so people can engage with their options now and help secure financial resilience later in life. We have also produced a downloadable guide to retirement income and produced a series of podcasts, called ‘Rewirement’, to help listeners get the best out of their retirement.
Our research found that over 55s spend more time choosing a new car than they do planning their retirement4, despite the fact that they might have to live with the consequences of that decision for 30 years or more. Given 1.2 million over 50’s5 are now considering delaying their retirement because of Covid-19, there is a clear need for people to understand their options before making panicked decisions.
With all the current uncertainty, having a solid understanding of retirement is a valuable tool to have in your back pocket. Our hope is that by encouraging older workers to engage with their later life finances, growing numbers will be equipped with the tools to enjoy a more comfortable 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 over £1.4 trillion in total assets under management* of which a third is international. We also provide powerful asset origination capabilities. Together, these underpin our leading retirement and protection solutions: we are a leading international player in pension risk transfer, in UK and US life insurance, and in UK 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 31 Dec 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)