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05 Apr 2018

One in three employees expect to work into their seventies

When do you plan to stop working? Do you have a retirement date (or age) in mind?

Growing numbers of people in the UK expect to still be working in their seventies, according to new research.

The Retirement Expectations study from LifeSight, Willis Towers Watson´s UK DC Master Trust, found that the number of employees expecting to work past the age of 70 has nearly doubled in seven years, from 17% in 2010 to 32% in 2017.

Younger employees, in particular, expect to be working well past the traditional retirement age.

Of those employees surveyed under the age of 30, 44% expect to retire in their 70s, compared to 20% of those in their 50s and over and 29% of those in their 40s. What´s more, 70% think that their generation is likely to be much worse off in retirement than their parents´ generation.

The research also revealed that those expecting to work longer tend to feel more stressed, less healthy and less engaged with their jobs.

Among those who expect to retire at 70 or over, 29% are highly stressed and 34% are in poor health, compared to 10% and 18% respectively of those who expect to retire before they are 65.

David Bird, head of Proposition Development at LifeSight, commented: “The fact that people are retiring later is not bad news in itself, as many studies have revealed numerous benefits associated with working longer. But it´s worrying that many who are expecting to retire later are not doing so out of choice and are therefore more stressed and less engaged with their job. This is not just problematic for individuals, but also for businesses. Employers need to harness their experienced talent in the right way to create a productive and happy workforce.”

Bird added: “Businesses need to think about whether their benefit programmes are fit to support an older workforce and provide a productive transition into retirement. Creating an environment where workers feel comfortable discussing their needs and options as they near retirement age, such as flexible working arrangements and upskilling, is important. In addition, giving employees access to the tools that enable them to effectively plan for their retirement is also key. This will not only help ensure that people can retire when they want, but that they are productive employees for as long as they choose to be part of the workforce.”

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