February 28, 2017
A majority of older workers (55+) in the UK are bracing themselves to continue working until they are 70 years old, but three quarters of employees don’t think employers are doing enough to support them, according to new research by the CIPD. In a survey of more than 1,600 UK employees, more than a third (37 percent) believed that they will have to work past the widely accepted retirement age of 65, a figure which jumps to 49 percent 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 the belief it will keep them mentally fit (32 percent), followed by a desire to be able to earn enough money to continue to enjoy themselves. However, the research has also found that many employers aren’t doing enough to support older workers in the workplace. Just one in four (25 percent) 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.
“It’s shocking that, despite a large proportion of UK workers planning to work past the age of 65, employers are so underprepared to meet the needs of a maturing workforce,” commented Charles Cotton, pay and reward adviser at the CIPD.
“Older workers offer vast experience and knowledge, and can also act as mentors to young people in the workplace. To reap those opportunities, employers need to start reviewing and adapting their people practices as well as the design of the organisation, jobs and work to ensure that they are fit for the new purpose.
“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 percent 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 percent 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 percent) and that they must have paid National Insurance contributions for 35 years to get the full state pension (32 percent).
The ‘Employee Outlook: Employee Attitudes to Pay & Pensions’ is available to download here