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COVID-19 lockdown swells financial stress

New research reveals there is high correlation with COVID impacted industries and early super release applicants.

AMP's latest research on financial stress found the two of industries most impacted by COVID-19, hospitality and retail, have the most financially stressed workers at 86% and 64% higher than the national rate respectively.

One in three members of AMP superannuation who work in hospitality applied for the early release of superannuation scheme, which is the most of any industry recorded.

"Our industry also has an important role to play in helping those Australians who have withdrawn super consider how to rebuild their balances so they close any retirement savings shortfall and help improve their quality of life in later years," AMP general manager workplace super engagement Stephen Owen said.

Further to this, 61% of workers in Melbourne reported feeling stressed about their finances during Victoria's second COVID lockdown which is a 54% increase from prior to the lockdown.

Of these, 80% noted financial stress was impacting workplace productivity and 49% significantly reduced spending.

However, financial stress caused by the pandemic has sparked more positive financial habits with a 6% increase in the number of workers establishing a financial plan and saving an additional 5% for a rainy day.

Following the second lockdown in Melbourne 35% of workers created new financial goals, up 8% prior to the lockdown.

"Encouragingly, the research also shows that many Australians have used the stress caused by COVID as a motivator to take action to review their financial circumstances, put goals in place and make plans for the future," Owen said.

"We know these actions can give people a greater sense of control, and significantly improve financial and general wellbeing."

Originally published by Annabelle Dickson


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