A Slide in the Pension Landscape: Retirement Struggles for the Workforce

Lingering debts, lack of pension savings and the rise in the cost of living…a third of over 50’s are leaving retirement at a later age, Aviva’s Working Lives report reveals.

The 2016 report, which examines the UK’s private sector businesses, are causing concern with the shifting of retirement patterns.

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Nearly half of the people analysed found the lack of pension saving was the main cause for concern.

Aviva’s findings suggest a divide between employers and its employees with the announcement of George Osborne’s Pension Freedoms Day’, last year. The legislation assessed workplace savings and benefits with only a quarter of private sector businesses being prepared for staff retirement.

The report has revealed less than half of larger sized businesses (250+ employees) have plans in place for those who wish to retire earlier compared to 14% across small and medium sized companies.

The scrapping of the Default Retirement Age in favour of Osborne’s Freedoms has seen businesses benefits, of pension freedoms and the auto-enrolment remain in financial struggle, with employees now who are now expected to work 8 years longer.

Less than a quarter of employers believe the Freedoms could result in employees retiring at a better age- compared to nearly a third believing valuable skills will be lost.

Growing fears for the over 50’s has seen a 2015 report –The Missing Millions, being launched.  The research of one million people highlighted the efforts of the over 50’s. Business in the Community’s Age at Work Director Rachel Saunders, found the loss of control in the labour market. She said: the over 50’s were being ‘pushed out’ with the invaluable ‘skills and experience’ needed in businesses.

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The impact of the Working Lives report raises concern over the aging population.

Aviva’s Managing Director- Andy Curran explains; businesses need to ‘embrace’ the ‘changing’ workforce for an effective workplace pension.

Nevertheless the Working Lives report found 86% job satisfaction amongst over 65’s was at the highest compared to the combined age groups of 18-64 with 57%.

The value of the over 65’s was greater with one in five found they still had a lot to offer to their employer while one in ten wanted to keep the older employees on.

Auto-enrolment has encouraged employers to start making provisions for the future but there is a still a long way to go since it first began in 2013, as Aviva’s UK Life CEO Andy Briggs agrees.

He states: ‘productivity’ and ‘enthusiasm’ as some of the reasons cited by employees as to why they are ‘valued’ team members.

Briggs encouraged businesses to ‘focus’ on the over 65’s by ‘ensuring’ the skills and experience is not lost in the workplace.

Following the Pensions Freedoms Day, employees are now on average working 8 years longer than hoped, with businesses being unprepared in the shifting retirement patterns. Aviva’s Working Lives report highlights employers’ fears about a ‘skills exodus’ being stretched and retirement put on hold.

Graduate Multimedia Journalist, Online Editor at CIO UK and contributing writer at Culturefly and Contact Music.
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