Pensions - Articles - 3 in 5 retired between March and October 2020 due to COVID

Three in five people who retired between March and October 2020 did so because of Covid-19, according to the Financial Lives survey published by the Financial Conduct Authority.

 Stephen Lowe, group communications director at Just Group, said the research shows there has been no general ‘pension panic’ but that a minority have been forced into a major rethink of their retirement plans.
 “Lack of engagement with retirement planning leaves some people more exposed to unexpected events. In more normal times these could be redundancy or ill health. But Covid-19 has brought together a storm of these events across wide swathes of the working population.
 “Its research found three in five (58%) who retired in the first six months of the coronavirus pandemic had not planned to retire. Nearly one in four (23%) did so because they lost their job, a further 9% did so because they needed to shield and 6% due to sickness or ill-health. Most of the remainder did so because the pandemic made them realise they wanted a change (18%).
 “It is important to look through the Covid-19 issues highlighted to the underlying situation which shows that for every one active pension saver who is highly engaged with their DC pension there are three who have low or very low levels of engagement.
 “Pensions need to work for everyone, not just for those with high levels of financial capability and access to advice. That adds urgency to the need for the FCA to ensure it meets the government’s objective of ensuring that using the free, impartial and independent guidance service Pension Wise becomes ‘the norm’ for those approaching the point they can take pension cash.”
 FCA Financial Lives 2020 survey: the impact of coronavirus

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