Changing attitudes to work fuels increase in demand for retirement advice during pandemic

Smiling businesswoman leading project meeting in office conference room
  • Almost half of financial advisers (47%) said demand for retirement advice has increased more than usual due to the pandemic, an increase from 40% compared to the previous year
  • 51% of advisers have seen an increase in the number of clients looking to retire early
  • 60% of advisers said clients have been prompted to tidy up their finances through updating wills and trusts
  • Research also shows client acquisition is becoming easier with the relaxing of social distancing
  • Fewer than one third (32%) of advisers said that it was more difficult to acquire new clients, a far less concerning finding than during the first year of the pandemic (57%)

Aegon and Next Wealth have launched their latest retirement advice report Managing Lifetime Wealth: retirement planning in the UK*. The report, the fourth in the series, offers a well-established benchmark on current practices and approaches to managing lifetime wealth and highlights the biggest trends shaping the retirement advice industry.

The report explores the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on demand for retirement advice and the ability of advisers to attract new clients. In last year’s report, we highlighted demand has increased more than usual in the first year of the pandemic, although new client acquisition had become more difficult due to the restrictions on social mixing, including face-to-face meetings.

The latest data shows demand for retirement advice has continued to increase during the second year of the pandemic. Nearly half (47%) of advisers said demand has increased, an increase from 40% the previous year.

Advisers report changing attitudes to work are driving demand as clients reassess priorities. 51% of advisers said there has been an increase in clients retiring early. This is reflected in official figures over the last two years showing a rise in number of older workers leaving employment, a reversal of pre-pandemic trends**.

The research shows the pandemic has also promoted individuals to focus on their health as well as wealth. 61% of advisers said clients are now more focused on their health and longevity than prior to the pandemic. 60% of advisers said more clients are updating their wills and trusts.

Client acquisition becomes easier

Difficulties around new client acquisition was the biggest business impact that advisers reported during the first year of the pandemic. Face-to-face meetings are seen as important for first-time clients, and these were restricted within the social mixing rules. However, this year’s research shows the relaxing of social distancing rules and increased confidence in doing business digitally has made it easier for advisers.

The latest data shows less than a third (32%) of advisers said that it was more difficult to acquire new clients during the pandemic, compared to over half (57%) from the first year of the pandemic.

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Aegon and Next Wealth, Managing Lifetime Wealth: retirement planning in the UK. Figure 1

Ronnie Taylor, Chief Distribution Officer at Aegon comments:

“Demand for retirement advice has been increasing since the introduction of the pension freedoms, and the pandemic has further demonstrated the value of advice in this area. Over the last two years, individuals have increasingly reassessed priorities and long-term plans and have been prompted to focus more on health and longevity.

“The research points towards an increase in early retirement during the pandemic. Advisers are well placed to support clients through this and manage a sustainable income throughout retirement. We’ve become used to a volatile stock market in recent years and the research shows there is growing sophistication in the use of retirement planning tools to support safe withdrawal strategies. The uncertainty around the economic outlook with rising interest rates and high inflation means the robustness of financial plans is expected to be tested further.

“The transition to remote meetings and the huge acceleration of digital processes has opened up new opportunities for advisers as an alternative means of communication with clients. However, face-to-face meetings remain an important part of developing new relationship so it’s understandable the relaxing of social mixing restrictions has made client acquisition easier.”

Heather Hopkins, Managing Director of Next Wealth, comments:

“The Covid pandemic has fueled demand for retirement planning advice as people re-evaluate priorities and look at options to retire early. Half of financial advisers told us that they have seen an increase in the number of clients looking to retire early through the pandemic. The complexity of this decision underscores the value of professional financial advice. We look forward to continuing to chart the course of retirement advice in the UK.”



* Aegon research with Next Wealth for the 2022 Managing Lifetime Wealth: retirement planning in the UK report. The latest research was conducted in December 2021 with over 212 financial advisers and supplemented with in-depth interviews. Yearly comparisons are offered to the 2021 report, conducted in December 2020.

**ONS, January 2022, A05 SA: Employment, unemployment and economic inactivity by age group


Further information

Samuel Woods

PR Manager 

Aegon UK 


Notes to Editors

  • In the UK, Aegon offers pension, investment and protection solutions to over 3.8 million customers. Aegon employs over 2,000 people in the UK and together with over 1,000 people employed by Atos, we serve the needs of our customers. More information:  Figures correct as at 31/12/2020
  • Aegon UK is part of the wider Aegon Group, based in the Netherlands, whose roots go back to the first half of the nineteenth century. Since then, Aegon has grown into an international business, with 30.4 million customers in multiple countries and EUR 979 billion of revenue generating investments as at 30/09/2021. More information on


The information in this press release is intended solely for journalists and shouldn’t be relied upon by any other persons to make financial decisions.