Approximately 75% of workers who have lost jobs during the pandemic are now at risk of being unable to maintain their standard of living when they retire, according to a new study from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. That’s an increase of 21% since before the pandemic began, the center noted.

The study also found that although half of all working adults were not saving enough for retirement when unemployment was low, now that unemployment is so widespread, that number likely is closer to 55%. Further, the households of adults aged 50 to 59 years experienced the biggest increase in risk, due to the shorter amount of time they have to recover financially before retirement age. 

Changes in asset prices and further declines in the interest rate likely will put even more households at risk of being able to maintain their standard of living, the report authors added.

“Ensuring retirement security for an aging population was one of the most compelling challenges facing the nation before the onslaught of COVID-19,” said the authors. “The unemployment associated with the pandemic has made the situation worse across the board.”