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Fears for retirement plans

31 May 2020

retirement plan

Nearly one in three Britons fear the economic downturn could wreak havoc on their retirement plans, according to new research from Sanlam.

The investment group said 29% of people now fear the sharp drop in financial markets amid the Covid-19 outbreak could threaten their retirement goals, up from 20% in 2019.

It has overtaken illness as the biggest barrier, which was cited by 21% of respondents last year but just 14% this year.

Those approaching retirement aged between 55 and 64 were found to be the most concerned about the impact of the financial downturn on their retirement, with 34% believing it to be their biggest barrier, compared to 22% in 2019.

The findings follow a warning from the Bank of England that the UK economy could contract by as much as 25% during the second quarter, as the effects of lockdown take hold.

The results of Sanlam’s survey also showed that a quarter of people (25%) were struggling to save enough on a monthly basis, up from 19% during the previous year.

As a result, as many as one in five Britons (19%) do not feel confident that they will achieve the savings they need to retire, while the number of people who said they did feel confident has fallen from 56% in 2019 to 48% today.

John White, CEO, Sanlam wealth division, said of the data: “The sharp market falls we witnessed in March have alerted people to the damage an economic crash could wreak on pension pots and understandably more people now fear a wider, continued downturn could derail plans to retire when they want to.

“If this crisis has proven anything, it is that it pays to be prepared. Steady savings are key to ensuring people can leave work when they want and enjoy a comfortable retirement.”

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