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The COVID-19 pandemic and your retirement plans

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every part of our lives and continues to have a widespread impact across all aspects of financial life. This includes retirement plans.

Legal & General conducted a survey of over-50s between 15 and 18 May 2020 which revealed that as a direct result of COVID-19, 15% of those in work are potentially considering delaying retirement by an average of three years and 26% will continue working indefinitely on a full or part-time basis.

The findings indicate that there are a significant number of people who are being forced to reconsider their retirement plans.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures currently show that the number of workers aged above 65 is already at a record high of 1.42 million and this could increase considerably if individuals change their retirement plans in response to the pandemic.

Economic uncertainty

It’s very uncertain just how long it will take for things to return to ‘normal’ and indeed what that normal might be and some retirees nearing retirement age might now need to be flexible with regard their plans for the future.

Some people may still be able to retire as planned amidst the crisis, whilst others may need to revise their plans. This might involve postponing retirement or consider retiring early.

Every day we are faced with the news of COVID-19 cases, job losses and economic concerns, to mention just a few.  The impact of COVID-19 on stock market performance is causing some retirees and those approaching to question their investment strategy and understandably, the impulse can be to react, and to protect what we have.

Ultimately though, long-term investing is about avoiding selling out of the market during periods of economic uncertainty and crystallising losses. Staying invested means you’ll benefit from any potential recovery, and it’s worth remembering that volatility is actually quite normal for stock markets.

The right mix of asset classes is essential to give yourself the best chance of achieving your retirement investment goals. An effective asset allocation is one that takes enough risk to give your portfolio growth potential, but not so much that you feel uncomfortable – and therefore tempted to withdraw funds at the wrong time.

You might have to be flexible

Whether or not to delay retirement or indeed retire early depends on your circumstances.

If you still have a job, but your savings have been impacted as a result of COVID-19, delaying retirement to give yourself more time to prepare could be the right option.

If on the other hand, you have lost your job and are unsure when or if you’ll be able to find another, you might choose to retire earlier than planned. If you have ample savings set aside, you may be able to enjoy retirement comfortably. Alternatively, you might return to work in a few years when hopefully jobs aren’t so scarce in order to build a stronger retirement fund.

Get in touch

The possibility that you might have to work longer than you envisaged is not what you probably want to hear. However, everyone’s circumstances are different and we can help look at your options and help you plan for your retirement.

Remember that our team of experts are on hand to provide you with any support you need during these unprecedented times. Email enquiries@cowgills.co.uk and one of the team will be in touch.


The value of investments and income from them may go down. You may not get back the original amount invested. Accessing pension benefits early may impact on levels of retirement income and your entitlement to certain means testing benefits is no suitable for everyone. You should seek advice to understand your options at retirement.

Posted by Chris Harrington
31st July, 2020
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