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More than half of young workers ‘made a bad debt decision’ during pandemic

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Nearly a quarter (24%) of workers say they have made a bad decision about debt during the pandemic, with the figure rising to 51% among those aged 18-24, according to a survey.

More than a third (36%) of ‘Gen-Y’ aged 25-to-39 also feel they made a bad debt decision over the last year, the research from Aviva found.

More than a quarter (29%) of employees said they have had to borrow to replace lost income, while 30% stated they are concerned their money will run out.

The research also found a concerning number of employees (39%) believe their current financial situation negatively impacts their mental health, while 60% feel their finances control their lives.

However, the report also reveals those who suffer from poor financial wellbeing do not necessarily think of themselves as bad with money – challenging the stereotype that money worries arise from disorganisation or knowledge gaps.

More than two thirds (68%) of employees with poor financial wellbeing think they are organised with their money, and 64% always try to minimise debt.

Laura Stewart-Smith, head of workplace savings and retirement at Aviva, said: “The Covid-19 experience has fundamentally altered our relationship with money, work and health. While some employees have been able to boost their financial wellbeing by saving more, with large swathes of the economy closed, others have found their income reduced and are facing larger debts or having to provide support for dependent family members.

“Our report shows many trends which have been gathering pace in recent years have now reached an inflection point, as new preferences emerge to shape the way we work, feel, think and plan ahead.

“Financial education in the workplace is nothing new, but now more than ever, there is a fundamental need for employers to provide tailored support for employees to ensure they can genuinely thrive in the ‘Age of Ambiguity’.”


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