Almost half of over 55s believe they will work past retirement age, but three quarters of employees don’t think employers are doing enough to support older workers.
Older workers (55+) in the UK are bracing themselves to continue working until they are 70 years old, according to new research by the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development.
In a survey of more than 1,600 UK employees, more than a third (37%) of all workers believe they will have to work past the widely accepted retirement age of 65, a figure which jumps to 49% among workers over 55 years old. Among those who predict they will work past 65, the average age they expect to actually retire is 70.
The most common reasons for employees wanting to work past 65 are that many people believe it will keep them mentally fit (32 per cent), followed by a desire to be able to earn enough money to continue to enjoy themselves, for example by going on holidays (27 per cent).However, the research has also found that many employers aren’t doing enough to support older workers in the workplace.
Just one in four employees believe that their employer is prepared to meet the needs of workers aged 65 and over, demonstrating how much work organisations need to do in order to prepare for the increased numbers of older workers in the workplace.
Charles Cotton, pay and reward adviser at the CIPD said:
“Previous CIPD research has shown that multi-generational workforces are of huge benefit to organisations. It is very positive to see that employees are also recognising that remaining at work can help their well-being by helping them to keep mentally fit. In return, organisations have a duty to build workplaces that enable talented older workers to continue to work without facing organisational barriers.”
The research also found a lack of awareness among some employees regarding the new state pension age. For instance, 26% of those aged 55 and over claim that they do not know that the state pension age will increase from 65 to 66 between 2018 and 2020. Similarly, 48% of 35–54-year-olds are still unaware that the state pension age is going to increase from 66 to 67 between 2026 and 2028.
There’s also a significant proportion of employees who are unaware that they need to have paid National Insurance contributions for ten years to get the minimum state pension (36%) and that they must have paid National Insurance contributions for 35 years to get the full state pension (32%).
1 in 4 workers have experienced a decline in their living standards in the past 12 months, with a similar number believing they will see a further decline in 2017. This is likely to be due to the expectation that inflation will continue to rise, possibly outstripping pay rises by the end of the year.
A third of workers don’t expect any salary growth in 2017. Workers in Wales are particularly pessimistic about their pay, with 43 per cent believing they will not see salary growth in 2017.
Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.