Mid-life report published to help older workers manage their careers

Mid-life MOT report published to help older workers manage their careersLast year John Cridland published his Review of the State Pension age, and one of his recommendations was for a ‘Mid-Life MOT’ for people’s late 50s and early 60s. Now a joint report, ‘Developing the mid-life MOT’, published today by the Centre for Ageing Better, outlines the response by industry to the review’s call for a better way of supporting people in their 40s, 50s and 60s to think about their careers and future lives. The report presents case studies of different approaches to the ‘mid-life MOT’ being tried out by Aviva, Legal and General, The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) and Mercer and offers insights to other employers thinking about introducing similar support for their own workers. The report suggests it is important that a mid-life MOT is the start of an engagement process, with participants signposted and encouraged to take up further support. Mid-life MOTs need a clear purpose that is understood by all stakeholders and participants.

All four organisations agreed on the benefits of engaging both employees and self-employed people in a sustained way to help them plan their careers and finances and think about their health in later life.Participants in the pilot schemes said they valued the support offered, especially the combination of different types of guidance, for example, finances, health and careers.

Patrick Thomson, Senior Programme Manager, Centre for Ageing Better said: “As more of us live longer, we need to act earlier in life to enable us to stay healthier, work for longer, and save more if we are to enjoy our later lives.

“People in mid-life could benefit from better access to information and advice to plan and prepare for their later lives. We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with government, employers and providers to ensure everyone who needs support can benefit and to test out these promising approaches to find out what works.”

There are a range of lessons for anyone considering developing a mid-life MOT to consider:

  • Know your target audience– consider the purpose and intended outcomes
  • ‘Age’ is not a fixed concept– consider what age group you’re targeting the service to
  • There is no ‘one size fits all’ for delivery – whether by telephone consultations, face-to-face, groups sessions or online tools consider what format is most applicable and effective for the intended participant group
  • Keep the content focused – MOTs can’t cover everything, prioritisation in content is important to maintain focus, clarity of purpose and participant engagement
  • The mid-life MOT is a process not a one-off event –practical outputs, signposting and follow ups are needed to engage and benefit participants.

The Centre for Ageing Better and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation have also commissioned some research from the Institute for Employment Studies, Thinking Ahead, to look more representatively at a broader range of employers to understand what they are already offering to support people to plan for midlife.