More than half of women who have delayed or cancelled their retirement plans due to the Covid crisis said the decision has taken a toll on their mental health, according to a Nationwide Retirement Institute survey.

The survey of employer-sponsored retirement plan participants and sponsors found that many women are experiencing negative emotions when thinking about their current retirement plan status, and even more so for women who have put off or stopped contributing to their retirement plans. Forty-five percent indicated that they are worried, 54% said they are frustrated and 16% are panicked.

Further, about one in five women feel they are on the wrong track for retirement, and the same expects to retire later than they originally planned, the survey found.

“The same trends we are seeing around the stress and the mental impact that this environment has been putting on women globally is also showing up in a microcosm of how [women] are thinking about their finances related to retirement,” said Amelia Dunlap, vice president, retirement solutions marketing at Nationwide. “This is having an implication on their confidence around retirement,” she said.

But Dunlap said women, as the survey found, are interested in taking action to reach their retirement goal. Most plan sponsors (66%) said since the pandemic, they have noticed that women are more likely than men to make changes to their retirement plans. And of those who are expecting to delay or cancel their retirement plans, 67% indicated that they have shifted their overall approach to saving for retirement.

Dunlap said women are taking steps to create an emergency fund and savings. They also are making investment changes in their contributions and paying attention to what their contributions are doing. She said Nationwide is invested in working with plan sponsors “on how they can provide options to not only help with that accumulation or saving for retirement but also decumulation in the form of options that can provide guarantees and lifetime income.”

Women also are interested in exploring solutions that can help them reach their goals. The survey found that nearly half (48%) showed interest in in-plan guaranteed lifetime income investment option, more than any other option provided to them. It also found that more than one-third (35%) are likely to roll over their retirement savings into one if given the chance.

The biggest barrier for the women who do not contribute to a guaranteed lifetime income investment option is lack of knowledge, the survey found. Dunlap pointed out that the need for education is not gender specific.

Dunlap noted that the survey also highlighted the mental sentiments of men and women around retirement confidence and “there really is a lot to be said here around the mental load that this is putting on women from every angle,” she said. “So, we are really encouraging advisors and plan sponsors to think about this audience in a very unique way given the extra stress that’s being placed on them,” she said.

Dunlap said she also would encourage advisors to have a conversation with their plan sponsors around their employees’ retirement confidence, not just getting to retirement but living in retirement, she said.

First « 1 2 » Next