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

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.

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.

Aviva 2

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.

Can a digital democracy save the democratic decline? 

Legal Voting Age of 18 in EU

Legal Voting Age of 18 in EU

Electronic voting to be introduced in the UK by 2020, as voters’ numbers diminishes. Can online voting encourage citizen’s engagement with politics? Chloe Dobinson investigates.

Only 56% of 18-24 year olds registered to vote in the 2010 general election with political activist Russell Brand recently admitting to having ‘never voted’ believing most people are ‘disenchanted’ by politics.

Open Up, a report submitted by Speaker Jon Bercow, plans to encourage young adults into the political system through online voting, following the 80% turnout of 18-24 year olds in the Scottish referendum.

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We can shop, bank and socialize online so why is e-voting not in place?

Saying goodbye to polling stations, by voting through the click of a mouse, can boost the youth turnout to 1.8 million, up to 70%. (Viral Voting)

Campaign group WebRoots Democracy believes accessibility, to those with disabilities and visual impairments will boost the turnout to 79%.

Online voting has the potential to enfranchise voters who are ‘currently locked out the current voting methods’, helping to connect with an audience who are becoming an ‘increasingly digital’ population in the UK.

But it is not only convenience. According to the think tank Viral Voting, an organisation offering advice on political issues, removing the paper ballot by a third of the cost involved. Paper saving and the decline in voting numbers could save up to £12.8 million.

Piloted in countries such as Estonia, Belgium and the US; why is the UK not keeping up in a digitally literate world?

The democratic decline, of fewer voters going to the polls and introduction of online voting, would ensure convenience with 65% of the public in favour of the new voting process. (Viral Voting)

Banishing polls cards and moving online ‘isn’t the battle’ in why  electorate’s should vote, as founder of WebRoots Democracy Areeq Chowdhury believes ‘taking the time’ to voice the public’s citizenship can make a difference.

There is still resistance in e-voting as Professor Bob Watt, who gave evidence at the Open Up Commission, believes there are still flaws in security.

He continues, online voting will not ‘permit’ with the public, with the influence of others in their political decision.

Despite widespread public support, Watt believes revolutionising the voting process cannot deliver a ‘secret and secure’ system, with electronic devices leading electorates to ‘making unconsidered decisions’.

Left or right wing? Voters are still undecided as polling firm Iposos MORI suggests 50% of voters are open to changing their minds.

Columnist for The Guardian Polly Toynbee, suggests the government have ‘gone out of their way’ to make it difficult for 18-24 year olds to vote.

She continues, by registering young adults to cast their ballot ‘automatically’, through debates at colleges and universities can get them into the ‘habit’ of voting.

A system of where 18-24 year olds could vote and register on the same day would dismiss the democratic decline.

The work and pensions benefit, taxation and winter fuel allowance are policies swaying the over 65’s in a voting turnout of 76% in the 2010 general election; with growing concerns over young adult’s disengagement to politics.

A manifesto for technology, from Labour Digital, favours an online democracy with party leader Ed Miliband planning to trial digital voting in 2020, if elected May 7.

Writing the foreword to the document, Labour’s policy co-ordinator Jon Cruddas, sees young people invited through sixth forms and colleges into the political conversation through creating ‘consultations digitally’ about the right to vote.

The youth manifesto, which will be released in time for the 2015 General Election on May 7, sees the online voting process aligned with how digitally literate the public live.

He continues, the transformation of politics through online voting would be more ‘accountable and demanding’ for politicians, by insuring young adult’s voices are heard across the nation.

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Our final version of our 10 minute documentary titled ‘YMCA & Me’ which looks at the struggle of a young residents life and how the YMCA have helped.

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