People forced to delay retirement

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People are delaying their retirement by five years or more because of the difficult economic climate, according to the results of a new survey out on Wednesday.

Those closest to retirement age are having to make the biggest changes to their plans, amid stock market falls that have wiped a third or more off the value of many people’s pensions.

Only a third of people aged 55 or over questioned in the YouGov poll commissioned by retirement specialist Life Trust said they would retire at the date they had previously planned.

A fifth said they would be forced to work between two and four years longer, while 15 per cent said they would have to work five or more years extra to make up the shortfall in their pension.

The outlook was not much better for younger workers. Just under a third of those aged 45 to 54 said they would have to work longer than planned, along with 22 per cent of those in the 35 to 44 age bracket.

However, less than 10 per cent of those aged 18 to 34 said they were changing their retirement plans, with most saying they had not considered the issue.

People coming up to retirement are facing a difficult balancing act between lower pension pots but falling annuity rates, which determine how much income a pensioner receives for life.

Many are opting to carry out paying into their pension, in the hope of buying undervalued equities that will boost their savings over time, while others are opting to lock in to annuity rates before they fall any further.

Another report out this week warned that the baby boomer generation is spending more years in semi-retirement than its predecessors because of difficult economic conditions.

Current retirees spent an average of two years in semi-retirement, but according to the Heartwood Wealth Management survey, the 1.4 million people in the UK over 55 and already in semi-retirement are planning to work an average of six more years.

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