Millions of people over 50 fear losing their job due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some 4.8 million older employees are worried about work stability, according to research by Legal & General (LGEN.L).
A third are also concerned about finding new employment if they lose their job and 58% worry about the impact.
Recent data from the Office for National Statistics reveals the over 65s are one of the groups most likely to have been hardest hit by redundancies. There were 730,000 fewer employees on payroll in July than in March 2020.
“With the UK now formally in a recession, and the end of the furlough scheme on the horizon, many over 50s are feeling apprehensive about their job security. It’s an unfortunate fact that this group is less likely to secure another role once out of work, meaning redundancy can have serious long-term repercussions on their retirement,” said Emma Byron, CEO, Legal & General Retirement Income.
The Centre for Ageing Better has also found that, when out of work, older staff are far more likely to face long-term unemployment, with just a third of over-50s returning to work after losing their job, compared with more than half of 35- to 49-year-olds.
Amidst career uncertainty, a large number of over 50s are now facing financial worries as a direct result of COVID-19. Over a third have seen their household income decrease during the pandemic and nearly a quarter having dipped into savings to cover every day living costs.
Over two thirds are concerned about their cost of living currently, with a third reducing their daily expenditure as a result.
Legal & General has launched an online retirement planning course with The Open University to provide free support.
“Our research found that over 55s spend more time choosing a new car than they do planning their retirement, despite the fact that they might have to live with the consequences of that decision for 30 years or more. Given 1.2 million over 50s are now considering delaying their retirement because of COVID-19, there is a clear need for people to understand their options before making panicked decisions," said Byron.