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Number of Brits expecting to retire in their 70s doubles

London, 22 March 2018 – The number of employees that expect to work past the age of 70 has nearly doubled in seven years, from 17% in 2010 to 32% in 2017, according to new research published today from LifeSight, Willis Towers Watson’s UK DC Master Trust. The Global Benefits Attitudes Survey (GBAS) 2017, looks at retirement expectations.

The Retirement Expectations research* found that this increase in expected retirement age is more prominent amongst younger employees. Of those employees surveyed under the age of 30, 44% expect to retire in their 70s, compared to 20% of those in their 50s and over and 29% of those in their 40s. Seventy percent of employees also think that their generation is likely to be much worse off in retirement than their parents’ generation.

The impact of this ageing workforce on other aspects of employees’ lives is considerable, with those expecting to work longer feeling more stressed, less healthy and less engaged with their jobs. Of those who expect to retire at 70 or over, 29% are highly stressed and 34% are in poor health, compared to 10% and 18% respectively of those who expect to retire before they are 65.

David Bird, Head of Proposition Development at LifeSight said: “The fact that people are retiring later is not bad news in itself, as many studies have revealed numerous benefits associated with working longer. 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.”

The report found that overall 44% of those surveyed, plan to retire from their main job, but keep working for some time before they fully retire. Again, this was most prevalent amongst younger employees, with  49% of those under the age of 40 agreeing to that, indicating the potential increased prominence of the issue in the future.

Bird went on to say: “Businesses need to think about whether their benefit programmes are fit to support an older workforce and provide a productive transition into retirement. Creating an environment where workers feel comfortable discussing their needs and options as they near retirement age, such as flexible working arrangements and upskilling, is important. In addition, giving employees access to the tools that enable them to effectively plan for their retirement is also key. 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.”