- 54% feel Covid has affected their retirement prospects, with those approaching mid-life feeling the biggest negative pressures on their retirement plans.
- Two in five UK adults (41%) say the pandemic has encouraged them to build more long-term savings.
- 37% plan to progress quicker with key life events as a result of the pandemic.
- However, 27% feel less comfortable about coping with unforeseen events than they did before.
More than half (54%) of UK adults say the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has affected their plans to retire, according to new research from Aviva.
The findings lay bare the polarising impact of the pandemic and its stop-start effect on people’s future plans. While some people envisage retiring earlier and have gained confidence about living comfortably once they retire, nearly one in five (18%) feel less secure about their financial future, peaking at more than one in four (27%) aged 35-44.
Across the generations, the 35-44 age group are the most likely (68%) to have felt some impact on their retirement plans from the pandemic. This has been positive for some, including one in ten who used lockdown to save more for their retirement.
But almost one in six people (14%) aged 35-44 anticipate their retirement date may be pushed back, while 16% have lost confidence in their ability to live comfortably once they have retired.
Pandemic has had profound effect on people’s priorities
Aviva’s findings show nearly three in five (59%) people feel the pandemic has made them question what’s important in life, while half have said it has changed their priorities.
However, the research reveals a nation polarised when it comes to deciding its own destiny. While 41% say the pandemic has made them feel they can take more control of their priorities, the same proportion (41%) say they have less control than they did before.
When it comes to their finances, more than two in five UK adults (41%) say life during Covid-19 has encouraged them to build more long-term savings. People aged 35-44 are most likely to feel compelled to save more for their futures (54%), followed by 51% of those aged 25-34.
However, 27% overall say they feel less comfortable about coping with unforeseen events than they did before the pandemic. This includes 29% of those aged 44-54 and 24% of over 55s.
Stop/start plans hang in the balance
Aviva’s findings also show more than half (53%) of UK adults have suspended or cancelled a planned life event during the pandemic.
Among those affected, almost one in six (16%) have held back from starting a new job; 13% have postponed buying a new house; 12% have thought twice about starting a new business; one in ten (10%) have pressed pause on trying for a baby; and the same (10%) have postponed getting married.
Despite more than half (54%) of people feeling that life has been “put on hold” during the pandemic, many are now seeking to progress quicker with their future ambitions. Among this group, 19% are fast-tracking a move to a new job; 13% will start a new business; and 13% are trying for a baby.
"Aviva is committed to help people put plans into action and keep life on track for the future they aspire to."
Alistair McQueen, Head of Savings & Retirement at Aviva, comments:
“For many of us, the pandemic has had a profound impact on our outlook and caused us to look again at our priorities. The experience of a global health crisis has led many people to put plans on hold and consider the wider implications around significant issues like retirement plans.
“The experience of having decisions taken out of our hands through successive lockdowns has left many people longing for a sense of control. But much as it’s encouraging to see people striving to build more long-term savings, our findings show anxiety about the future is still weighing heavily on their minds.
“As we all juggle personal priorities against a backdrop of uncertainty, it’s important to look for steps that can help us take control of our circumstances as best we can. Through practical guidance on decision-making and tools like our Mid-Life MOT app, Aviva is committed to help people put plans into action and keep life on track for the future they aspire to.”
Notes to editors:
- We are the UK’s leading Insurance, Wealth & Retirement business and we operate in the UK, Ireland and Canada. We also have international investments in Singapore, China and India.
- We help our 18.5 million customers make the most out of life, plan for the future, and have the confidence that if things go wrong we’ll be there to put it right.
- We have been taking care of people for 325 years, in line with our purpose of being ‘with you today, for a better tomorrow’. In 2021, we paid £30.2 billion in claims and benefits to our customers.
- Aviva is a market leader in sustainability. In 2021, we announced our plan to become a Net Zero carbon emissions company by 2040, the first major insurance company in the world to do so. This plan means Net Zero carbon emissions from our investments by 2040; setting out a clear pathway to get there with a cut of 25% in the carbon intensity of our investments by 2025 and of 60% by 2030; and Net Zero carbon emissions from our own operations and supply chain by 2030. Find out more about our climate goals at www.aviva.com/climate-goals and our sustainability ambition at www.aviva.com/sustainability.
- Aviva is a Living Wage and Living Hours employer and provides market-leading benefits for our people, including flexible working, paid carers leave and equal parental leave. Find out more at https://www.aviva.com/about-us/our-people/
- At 31 December 2021, total Group assets under management at Aviva Group are £401 billion and our Solvency II shareholder capital surplus is £13.1 billion. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE 100 index.
- For more details on what we do, our business and how we help our customers, visit www.aviva.com/about-us
- The Aviva newsroom at www.aviva.com/newsroom includes links to our spokespeople images, podcasts, research reports and our news release archive. Sign up to get the latest news from Aviva by email.
- You can follow us on:
- For the latest corporate films from around our business, subscribe to our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/aviva