Working Past Retirement: A Third of Workers Expect to Work Past 70

Almost a third of UK workers expect to be in employment after the age of 70, while 70 per cent of the working population expect to be worse off in their retirement than their parents’ generation.

According to data from Willis Towers Watson’s Global Benefits Attitudes Survey (GBAS), the number of employees who expect to work past the age of 70 has nearly doubled in seven years, from 17 per cent in 2010 to 32 per cent in 2017.

Among those under the age of 30, 44 per cent believe that they will still be working in their 70s, compared with 29 per cent of those in their 40s, and just  20 per cent of workers over the age of 50.

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The GBAS also found that working later in life is already becoming a source of stress for Britain’s workers. Of those who expect to retire at 70 or over, 29 per cent described themselves as “highly stressed” and 34 per cent said that they were “in poor health”.

Among those expecting to retire before they hit 65, these figures fell to 10 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively.

“The fact that people are retiring later is not bad news in itself, as many studies have revealed numerous benefits associated with working longer,” said David Bird, head of proposition development at LifeSight, Willis Towers Watson’s UK DC Master Trust.

“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.

“Giving employees access to the tools that enable them to effectively plan for their retirement is also key,” added Bird. “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.”

The current state pension age is 65 for men and between 60 and 65 for women. However, the state retirement age is set to rise to 66 for both men and women by October 2020, before rising again to 67 between 2026 and 2028.

Kathryn Gaw

Kathryn Gaw is a financial journalist based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has been writing about personal finance and investment trends for more than a decade, and her work has been featured in the Financial Times, City A.M., the Press Association, and The Irish Independent, among many other publications.