Half of 50+ workers want to avoid 'cliff edge' retirement

16 Jan 2019

How do you want to retire? Would you prefer to cut down your working hours before full retirement, or just stop work altogether?

New research by Aegon shows that half (49%) of UK workers over 50 years of age and earning £20,000 or more would like to transition into retirement. With this more flexible approach, workers would change their working pattern -- remaining in paid employment but in a reduced capacity.

The traditional 'cliff edge' approach to retirement, where workers go from their usual work pattern to full retirement all in one go, is now favoured by less than a third (31%) of workers over the age of 50.

According to Aegon, the findings suggest that as people live longer with better health they're more inclined to work for longer, easing themselves into retirement. This combines financial benefits with freeing up more time for activities outside of work.

Asked how they would prefer to transition into retirement, 70% said they would like to cut down the number of days they work each week, while 44% were keen to reduce the number hours they work each day. A third (33%) wanted more flexible working arrangements and a fifth were looking for more holiday entitlements while remaining in work.

"Over 50s in the UK see the appeal of gently easing off the amount of time they work or altering their working pattern," commented Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon.

"Many see this as having the best of all worlds, benefiting mentally and socially from work, as well as continuing to receive an income, while simultaneously enjoying more leisure time.

"Our research shatters the concept that retirement is a single day event. Time has run out for 'carriage clock' retirements. Those approaching retirement want a fluid transition, and it's not only the individuals who'll benefit. Enabling individuals to remain economically active into later life is also good for employers and the broader economy."

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