UK - Stock market falls have forced a growing number of workers to delay their retirement plans, a survey by Watson Wyatt shows.
The consultant found 25% of older workers will stay on later than they intended two years ago to boost cash levels.
It said postponing retirement was strongly linked to stock market falls with 49% of the 4500 workers surveyed saying their savings had “declined a lot” over the past three years.
The survey found those losing value in their savings were more likely to reduce equity exposure – with women significantly more likely to do so than men.
Research by Prudential also revealed hardship in later life with almost half of Britain’s 10 million pensioners being forced to cut back on spending in the last three months.
This led to more than two million pensioners going back to work – in some cases to combat boredom and in others out of desperation for extra cash.
The study – which tracked income, expenditure and lifestyle patterns – showed 20% of pensioners were struggling to meet their financial commitments with 200,000 admitting they had considered unlawful ways of making money.
Prudential director of marketing Roger Ramsden said that letting retirement “sneak up” was no longer an option and more information needed to be available to help people stay abreast of financial matters in later life.
He added: “The number of pensioners who feel their low household income restricts them from leading a comfortable life in retirement has consistently risen in the last year.
“Two out of three retirees have received no financial advice, which is why we have published an informative and practical retirement guide.”
But Robert Graham & Co managing director Robert Graham said it was increased longevity, rather than stock market decline, which would make later retirement unavoidable in the future.
He added: “Education is important. People need to be encouraged to invest more and earlier in a nest egg.”
The Pensions Administration Standards Association's Margaret Snowdon won the coveted Pensions Woman of the Year award. She tells Stephanie Baxter about lessons she has learned along the way.
Defined benefit (DB) schemes are set to shorn themselves of over £300bn of liabilities between 2019 and 2021 as they continue to mature, Mercer predicts.
This week's top stories include the Competition and Markets Authority issuing its final report for the investigation into investment consultants, and The Pensions Regulator launching its first fraud prosecution.
Many investment portfolios that rely heavily on stock-bond diversification to manage risks may not be protected against inflation surprises. Real assets offer a solution.