Over 50s plan to keep working past 65, just for the joy of it
However, for some, remaining in work is not a desire but a necessity, as concerns about inflation and the rising cost of living increase anxiety over how they will pay the bills.
UK workplaces are likely to see a boom in the number of people working later in life, motivated primarily not by money but by enjoyment of their job and concerns they’d be bored if they stopped, according to new research from retirement specialist Retirement Advantage.
The firm’s survey of over 50s1 found that two in five (39%) are considering working beyond state pension age, with men more likely than women to think about staying in the job (43% compared to 35%). The latest ONS figures show that 10% of over 65s are currently employed, which in itself is a big increase over the last decade2/3.
The regions most likely to see older employees remain in the workforce are London (50%), the East (47%) and the South East (41%), while the areas in which older staff are least likely to stay on are the South West (34%), West Midlands (35%) and Scotland (35%).
Contrary to popular perceptions that financial worries are what drive older people to stay in their jobs, when asked why they are considering working past state pension age the most popular reason was that they simply like working (54%). The next most common reasons are because work provides a sense of purpose (53%) and to avoid boredom (52%). 42% of the over 50s said they wanted to ease into retirement gradually. Needing the extra money comes in fifth (41%), with women more likely to be motivated by this than men (46% compared to 37%).
Andrew Tully, pensions technical director at Retirement Advantage, said: ‘We hear a lot about the productivity problem in the UK, which can give the impression that we Brits don’t like working, but this research proves that is not the case. Lots of over 50s enjoy their jobs, and are keen to continue working for as long as they can simply because they believe they’d be bored without it. It’s important that businesses recognise the value of older employees’ expertise and experience, and support them to stay on.
‘However, for some, remaining in work is not a desire but a necessity, as concerns about inflation and the rising cost of living increase anxiety over how they will pay the bills. And, of course, health issues mean that not everybody approaching retirement will be able to stay in their job. These people need a robust financial plan that will provide certainty they will be able to pay the bills throughout retirement but flexibility to cope with whatever the future might throw up. Getting professional financial advice is a crucial first step to ensure people get the retirement they’ve worked so hard for.’
- Survey conducted by Censuswide between 20.03.17 and 22.03.17 of 1,013 over 50 year olds who are yet to retire.
- UK labour market: Apr 2017 statistical bulletin shows that 1,173,000 over 65s are employed out of a total population of 11,537,000: ONS.GOV.UK website