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Pandemic prompts more people to plan for their financial future – survey

The pandemic has prompted people to put more emphasis on the need to plan for their financial future.

More than six out of 10 people said they now see planning for their financial futures as more important than they did prior to the Covid-19 outbreak.

However, less than half of those surveyed said they are confident their pension plan will provide them with a comfortable retirement, according to research commissioned by Bank of Ireland.

A majority of people recognised that having a pension plan in place is important.

And the ongoing lockdown restrictions are giving them more time to think about the future.

But more immediate financial concerns are taking precedence over planning for retirement, the survey found.

Central Bank research shows that deposits in banks and credit unions shot up this year, rising by €4.5bn in April and March alone. Households have some €120bn in savings in banks and credit unions.

Bank of Ireland said there is evidence people are likely to continue to save over the next 12 months.

But the research reveals that the majority have not taken advice on how to plan for retirement.

Head of pensions and investments at Bank of Ireland, Bernard, Walsh said: “The people we spoke to in this survey told us that lockdown gave them more time to think and may also have offered a glimpse for some people of what retirement might look like.”

He said the research also shows that nearly six in 10 people have never sought professional financial help when it comes to pensions.

“But we know that conversations like these can offer vital insights in knowing how to take the right steps towards ensuring you have the means to live the kind of life you want when your working days come to an end,” Mr Walsh said.

He said putting off decisions on pensions can have consequences into the future.

Last week the Government said former chair of the Revenue Commissioners, Josephine Feehily, is to head up a new commission that will make recommendations on the age people qualify for the State pension. The Commission on Pensions will report on the qualifying age for the State pension, contribution rates, total contributions and eligibility requirements.

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