Weston: How the pandemic has shaken up retirement | #retirement | #elderly | #seniors
Certain older workers — women, Black people and those without college degrees — were even more likely to lose their jobs. And these workers tend to have less saved, so they are also more exposed to retirement risks such as downward mobility and poverty, the study said.
At the same time that the pandemic was pushing millions out of the workforce, lockdown orders gave millions of others a crash course in working from home. About 75% of federal government employees, for example, were working remotely in September, according to a survey conducted by the Government Business Council , a research group.
So it may not be a coincidence that far fewer federal employees retired in 2020 compared with the two previous years, according to an analysis of monthly data from the Office of Personnel Management by Federal News Network , a media outlet that covers the federal government. The analysis found that 92,008 federal employees retired in 2020, the fewest since 2010. The office processed 101,580 retirements in 2019 and 107,612 in 2018.
A SMALL DELAY CAN HAVE A BIG IMPACT
Employees don’t always get to decide when to retire, but delaying it, when possible, can help shore up finances. Early exits from the workforce can heighten the risk of long-term financial insecurity. Retirees may not have saved enough, and they might get lower payments if they start pensions or Social Security benefits earlier than planned.
Working an extra year or two allows people to save more for retirement and take advantage of higher “catch-up” limits on 401(k)s, IRAs and health savings accounts, says certified financial planner Nadine Burns of Ann Arbor, Michigan.