Only 3% have stopped paying into pensions since lockdown started, survey finds

The vast majority of pension savers are determined to keep topping up their retirement pots, despite many having suffered income shocks, a survey suggests.

Nearly half (45%) of people had been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in some way, research by YouGov for workplace pension scheme the People’s Pension found.

But just 3% of those questioned who have a pension said they had stopped their contributions altogether during the past seven months.

Some 2% had cut back their pension contributions since the lockdown started in March and the same percentage, at 2%, had withdrawn money from their pension. Under the pension freedoms, over-55s can take money out.

Meanwhile, a further 2% have increased their contributions.

Around one in seven (14%) people had checked the value of their pension savings in the past seven months.

One in six (15%) people surveyed had been furloughed at some point in 2020.

Some said their hours had been reduced while one in 20 (5%) have had to take a pay cut.

Phil Brown, director of policy at the People’s Pension, said: “This has been the most difficult year that the vast majority of us can remember, with the fallout from the pandemic having an impact on almost everything that we do.

“Despite the financial hardship that coronavirus has caused, this national survey confirms what our data has shown us throughout – that it has had very little impact on pension saving.

“Even though there were early fears to the contrary, workplace pension saving through automatic enrolment has held up very well during 2020, confirming its status as one of the most successful Government policies of the 21st century. This research serves as a timely reminder of how much value millions of workers place on saving for their retirement.”

The survey also found the pandemic had prompted 1% of people to delay their retirement plans. This was balanced out by 1% of people with a pension who expected to retire earlier than anticipated.

More than 2,000 people were surveyed between October 14 and 15.