If anything good has come out of this year’s crisis it has been the spotlight shone on some of society’s greatest challenges.
In money terms, the pandemic has brought generational inequalities to the fore, shaking off tenuous assumptions about the frivolity of the young and the greed of the old to spread a patchwork of political legacy and economic timing before us that millions of people are falling through.
Much has been written about the job losses and bleak prospects among the UK’s youngest adults in particular. Millions more fear a peak in unemployment in 2021.
But for others, a different kind of “Long Covid” threatens to leave them destitute in old age, according to a worrying new report that suggests hardest hit will be the generation that already falls between the funding pillars of generous defined benefit pension plans for those older than them and a lifetime of the workplace pension set to support younger adults. At least one in three, roughly 4.3 million Generation Xers born between and 1965 and 1980, will end their working lives with “minimal” incomes, the International Longevity Centre UK (ILC) has warned.
More than two million will have to survive on the state pension of a little over £9000 a year, around £25 a day. More than six million members of this generation believe they will be worse off than their parents when they have to stop working.
Increasingly known as the “forgotten generation”, the think tank – which specialises in the social impact of ageing populations – warns that those retiring over the next ten to thirty years were already facing significant barriers to saving before Covid hit, with millions prioritising paying off debt