Pensions - Articles - 39 percent of over 50s worse off due to the pandemic

SunLife’s Covid and Over 50s’ Finances reveals that 27% of people over 50 are worse off as a result of the pandemic, by £445 a month on average; across the UK, this is the equivalent of £3bn per month, which, since the pandemic started in March 2020 is a total of £33.2bn.

 Among working over 50s, 39% say they are worse off, by slightly more per month - £458 - while almost half (46%) have seen their job and income impacted: 12% have lost their job, 28% have been furloughed and 31% have had their hours, pay, or both, cut.

 For those working in hospitality and entertainment, the figures are even bleaker with almost four out of five (78%) affected – 17% have lost their job.
 The situation has also been particularly tough for people over 50 who were self-employed at the start of the pandemic; two thirds (67%) have seen their businesses affected; 14% say they can’t operate at all at the moment, 45% have had to reduce the hours they are working while 6% have had to shut their business down.
 Pension pots suffering
 Just over half (51%) of working people over 50 have a private pension. Of those who were making contributions before the pandemic, one in 20 (5%) have either stopped contributions altogether or cut the amount they are paying in. Amongst those who were already retired but still paying into a private pension, 10% have reduced their contributions or completely stopped paying in. Overall, 11% of over 50s (retired and working) have either stopped (7%) or cut down (4%) pension contributions as a result of the pandemic.
 Before the pandemic, the average amount being paid into a private pension by people over 50 was £123 per month, but this has reduced to an average of just £72. For someone who is 50 now and plans to retire at 68, that monthly reduction is equivalent to £11,016 LESS in their pension pot at retirement.**
 For better or worse?
 Half of working people over the age of 50 (51%) say their finances have been impacted by the pandemic, and whilst of those, 77% are worse off, it’s not all bad news. 10% say they are better off, by £350 a month on average, mostly because they are spending less (78%).
 Justin Cole, director at SunLife said: “The pandemic has been tough, financially, for so many, and our research shows that for older people who were either self-employed or working in one of those ‘at risk’ industries like retail, hospitality or entertainment at the start of the pandemic, it has been particularly hard. Sadly, one in eight people over 50 have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic, rising to almost one in five in retail, while many are worse off than they expected to be a this point in their lives.”
 Help is at hand
 SunLife has a number of blogs and guides written by financial experts to help those who are struggling financially at this time:

 Coping with redundancy in later life has lots of great advice from financial expert Jasmine Birtles as well as links to useful Government resources like how to sign on for universal credit, how to apply for government funded training, links to the Gov page on how to start your own business etc.

 Managing your money more carefully in later life includes budgeting advice, links to how to improve your credit score etc.

 Retired and in debt is all about what to do if you are retired and find yourselves in debt. Again this links off to helpful Gov resources with practical tips and advice on how to get yourself out of the red and into the black.

 Covid and Over 50s Finance

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