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&#39Stockmarket falls force many workers to delay retirement&#39

A quarter of older workers intend to retire later than they planned two years ago because their savings have been hit by stockmarket falls, according to research by Watson Wyatt.

Its survey of 4,500 workers aged between 50 and 64 reveals there is a strong relationship between those who are delaying their retirement plans and those whose savings have fallen in value in the last few years.

Forty-nine per cent of respondents said their savings have declined a lot over the last three years while 20 per cent said their savings have fallen a little. Only 20 per cent said their savings have increased while 11 per cent said they have stayed the same.

However, for those who have already retired, the survey shows there is little appetite to return to work, even among those who have suffered significant losses in their savings.

Watson Wyatt says this provides further support for theories that the decision to retire is rarely reversed.

Economic researcher Jonathan Gardner says: “The bear market from the end of 1999 is the first time in which significant volumes of retirement savings were at risk in equity markets. The euphoria of the late 1990s was such that this decline or at least its scale was probably not anticipated by most investors.”

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