SURVEY SAYS: Has the Pandemic Changed Your Retirement Date?

PLANSPONSOR NewsDash readers share whether the pandemic has led to them to change their planned date of retirement.

Employees who have been financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic might have pushed their planned retirement timing to a later date. Safety concerns about going into the workplace, or the sense that “You only live once,” might have caused some to decide to retire earlier than planned. However, the ability to work remotely could have alleviated safety concerns as well as aggravations employees were looking for to getting rid of at retirement, such as the daily commute.

Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “Has the pandemic changed your retirement date?”

Half of responding readers work in a plan sponsor role, while 27.8% work for recordkeepers/TPAs/investment consultants, 19.4% are advisers/consultants and 2.8% are attorneys.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents said the pandemic has not changed their retirement date. Less than one in 10 (8.3%) reported that the pandemic has changed their retirement date to later than they planned, and 16.7% said they will be retiring earlier than planned. Only 2.8% said they never plan to retire, and 8.3% reported they don’t know if the pandemic changed their retirement date.

Among respondents who left comments, several expressed gratitude that they are well-prepared and can make the decision to change their retirement date. There are some who have decided to retire earlier than planned, but for the most part, it seems respondents who commented are sticking with their retirement dates. One reader said, “I know of individuals who have worked longer now due to the pandemic because there’s nothing else to do except for work at home.” What’s interesting to read is the reasons for respondents’ decisions. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “Ready to focus on things I enjoy and make me happy. Will be doing the little yippee skippee dance on May 20!”

A big thank you to everyone who participated in our survey!


Still have 17 years to go, so a pandemic today has no effect on my planned retirement date.

I was thinking I’d retire at 60, but now I’m thinking a couple years earlier would be nice. After almost a year of working remotely, I’m looking forward to the day of no pressures or stress and envy my co-worker who retired last year and is now living the relaxed life in Florida!

The pandemic has shown that we can successfully work remotely. The impact to my retirement plan is that I may want to live somewhere with a lower cost of living and/or quality of life and that could influence when I start that “second career.”

As someone who caught COVID-19 from my husband and had a rough case, I am even more convinced that I want to retire on time. Fortunately, I have planned well for retirement.

Last year I was planning to work seven more years, but now I’m leaning more towards just five (although not sure my spouse agrees). My retirement gig will be an adult lemonade stand on the island of Aruba and after this winter that looks better and better.

One of the key factors in my decision to retire later is that we are all teleworking. As long as that continues, and we can’t travel anywhere, I might as well keep working and adding to my retirement benefits.

I plan to retire at 65. My employer might have other plans!

Dec 2021 it is if I survive this year!

I’m very close to retiring. With working remotely going so well and with our company allowing the option after the all-clear to go back to the office is given, I planned on working longer than what I originally planned. Now, however, a new leader recently hired is making some very unfavorable changes, even to the longstanding culture of the company. Rather than be miserable with these changes and listen to everyone complain, I have a feeling I’ll go back to my original planned retirement date. I feel very lucky that I have that option.

I was planning on working to age 70. Now I am going to alter my retirement plans so I can be ready to retire at 68. Life is short and I’d rather spend those 2 years with a fishing pole or book than with an Excel spreadsheet and keyboard.

For it to be my choice when to continue to work or retire, to be fortunate to enjoy good health in these times, and to have the opportunity to respond to your request—we should all feel truly Blessed. Take care and be well.

Ready to focus on things I enjoy and make me happy. Will be doing the little yippee skippee dance on May 20!

Although, while I don’t plan to retire for at least 3 years, it is nice to realize that I could actually retire at any time now!

I’m still years and years away from retirement, and I’ve always known I wanted to retire on the earlier side, but the pandemic has certainly crystalized this for me. In the immortal words of Conrad Birdie, “I’ve got a lot of livin’ to do.”

The closer I get to the actual date I am fully eligible may change my thoughts, but I am planning to work 3 years past that.

I know of individuals who have worked longer now due to the pandemic because there’s nothing else to do except for work at home.

I’m very fortunate to be able to work remotely although I miss seeing people. I’m sticking with my plan to work until full Social Security retirement age.

I was very concerned when the market took a huge dive in Feb./Mar. 2020, so it is great that it bounced back with a vengeance! My retirement is still on track, only a few months left! Woo Hoo!

I mainly don’t want to switch insurance coverage mid-pandemic. As long as I don’t loathe my job, I’ll keep working through the pandemic.

Did not consider the pandemic a retirement timing factor until this NEWSDash.

For the most part, those affected financially by the pandemic are not those with a solid retirement plan available to them. If the pandemic changed retirement plans for anyone it would likely be because they know of families that lost loved ones to the disease.


NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not necessarily the stance of Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) or its affiliates.