Retirement income systems are not immune to the longer-term effects of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many health, social, cultural and economic effects worldwide. While the actual impacts vary between countries, and indeed between regions within the same country, there is no doubt that the longer-term effects will be significant. Retirement income systems are not immune from these outcomes.


Mercer’s Dr David Knox discusses the long-term lessons learned from the pandemic as they affect the objectives, design, operations, resilience and fairness of pension systems. With global crises becoming more common than ‘once in a lifetime’, it’s critical that these lessons are used to improve the efficacy of pension systems. Only then can individuals and households, regardless of their age, gender or socioeconomic class, look forward to a dignified retirement with increased trust and confidence.

How did COVID-19 impact super?


There have been many consequences of the pandemic which in turn have affected the future benefits that will be delivered from pension schemes. These include:

  • Reduced employment opportunities
  • Reduced contributions from some employers
  • Reduced market values
  • Early access to superannuation
  • Increased government debt
  • Restricted flow of trade and supplies

These developments raise the question for many individuals and households as to whether their previously expected pension outcome will actually be delivered in the future. On the other hand, there have been increased personal savings in many economies as households had reduced spending opportunities during the pandemic. However, it must also be recognised that the households with additional savings are different from those who have been hardest hit by the pandemic with reduced employment and lower pension contributions.


Other key topics relating to COVID-19 and pension systems include:

  • Government decisions
  • Community experience
  • Individual experience

Receive your copy of ‘Long-term lessons from the pandemic for pension systems’ and discover why these lessons must not be lost.


Get in touch with Mercer...

Dr David Knox BA PhD FIAA
Senior Partner, Senior Actuary

Speak with a Mercer Consultant

Contact us about superannuation and retirement solutions. Let's talk about how Mercer can help you.   

*Required Fields

Mercer's Superannuation and Retirement services