The proportion of UK employees who say they will work beyond the age of 65 has remained at 72% for the second year running, significantly higher than in 2016 and 2015, according to recent research from Canada Life.
Nearly half of those who say they expect to work beyond 65 will be older than 70 before they retire, up from 37% in 2017, while almost a fifth expect to be older than 75. Workers aged 35-44 are most likely to say they expect to retire after their 75th birthday.
Rising cost of living forces over 20 million into late retirement
A series of economic factors are driving employees to work for longer. 90% of UK employees say that the rising cost of living is the main reason why they expect to work beyond 65, with 87% saying the same of poor returns on savings due to low interest rates.
Older workers bring a more diverse set of skills to the UK’s workforce
Opinions remain divided about the UK’s ageing workforce as it brings a new set of challenges for workers to contend with. Over a third believe that an ageing workforce might mean that older workers will have to re-train or learn new skills to stay in work, while 30% think it could make it harder for young people to move up the career ladder.
However, 41% are positive that a mix of older and younger employees creates a workforce with a wider range of skills, which is beneficial for employees and employers alike.
This comes as just 6% think the government is helping to promote older workers. So far, only 13% think that employers are encouraging older employees to stay in the workplace, and 15% believe that older people are appreciated and respected in the working environment.
Support for older workers in the workplace can come in many different forms, but often the simplest are the most effective.
Nearly half of employees think flexible working or part-time opportunities are most important when it comes to supporting an ageing workforce. Out of those planning to work beyond state pension age, 60% say that they would be more likely to work for an employer that offered health and wellbeing benefits.
Paul Avis, Marketing Director of Canada Life Group Insurance, comments:
“The combination of an increase in the cost of living, poor returns on savings and inflation continue to impact the UK’s retirement plans.
”This is the second year in a row that our findings indicate that more than 70% of the country’s workforce expect to work beyond the age of 65, and there is no sign that this trend will slow down any time soon.
“But even as an older workforce becomes more common, the stigma surrounding older workers is proving hard to shake.
”Employers now have the opportunity to capitalise on the skills of two or even three generations, but only if they address potential generational divides and the changing needs of their employees.”
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