Number of employees working well into their sixties on the rise


Earlier this year the Government abolished the default retirement age. Before 6th of April 2012, employers could make their staff retire at the age of 65, which was set as the default retirement age.

The Coalition argued that it was necessary to scrap the default retirement age because as a population we continue to live longer, which implies that more money is needed to pay for the welfare system and public services, such as healthcare.

Although employees can still take out their state pension once they reach their state pension age, which currently differs between men and women, they cannot be forced to quit working simply because of their age. However, it seems that many employees feel that they have no choice but to continue working past their sixties.

Since 1993, the number of people planning to work past the state pension age has nearly doubled. Research from the insurance firm Saga shows that today's employees work later into their lives because they need a steady income and/or because they enjoy being occupied.

The financial crisis and employment

Thousands of people are currently struggling to find work, particularly new graduates. Workers of an advanced age are often reluctant to talk to their managers about flexible working hours or other forms of arrangements to ensure that their employment matches their abilities as they age.

Many who consider voicing such concerns are put off by the risk of creating an unpleasant working environment or, in the worst case, being discriminated against by their employer and ending up being replaced.

Will I have to work longer?

It currently seems as though the Coalition Government is intent on having people engaged in employment until a later age than has so far been customary.

For those workers for whom it is financially necessary to work until late in their life, the Government's abolition of the statutory retirement age ensures that they are now able to do so. However, many of those approaching what they previously thought would be their retirement age are frustrated about the fact that they will have to pay more than what they originally signed up for.

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