Belfast Telegraph

Over 50s 'forced to work longer'

More than a quarter of people approaching retirement will be forced to work for longer because of the economic downturn, research has indicated.

Around 28% of people aged over 50 said they were being forced to delay retirement, while 21% of people have cut their savings levels during the past year, according to life insurer Liverpool Victoria.

The average person has reduced the amount they are setting aside for retirement by £324 a month or £3,800 a year.

The sum is more than double the average of £137 a month that people approaching retirement had cut their savings by during the previous 12 months.

The group said the figure suggested people in their 50s and 60s were being forced to put their long-term financial security on hold while they coped with more immediate financial pressures.

Four out of 10 people also said they had been approached by their children for financial help during the past year.

The research found that women had been particularly hard hit, with 23% reducing their retirement saving levels during the past year, cutting them by an average of £4,464 a year.

Just over a third of people aged over 50 said there needed to be a substantial economic recovery in the UK if they were going to be able to enjoy a comfortable retirement, rising to more than half of people aged over 60 who had not yet given up work.

Around 47% of people said they were disappointed that they were going to be forced to work for longer, while 18% said they felt angry.

Ray Chinn, head of pensions at Liverpool Victoria, said "Britain's over-50s have already seen their pension pots damaged by the economic crisis, and now many appear to be diverting still more money away from retirement saving to deal with immediate pressures."

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