We recently wrote about how nearly three-quarters of UK employees plan to work beyond 65. It’s a sobering reality that highlights how an estimated 23 million individuals are planning to work beyond their 65th birthday because they feel the need to.
Now, a new global survey by Aegon not only supports the findings of the study referenced in our previous post above, but has also found that the UK has more employees planning to work past retirement age than most other countries in Europe – and that’s due to fears around declining health, rather than a lack of funds in later years.
The Aegon survey revealed that almost half (48%) of UK workers are planning on working beyond the age of 65, compared to just 22% of French workers. Nevertheless, the UK is unlikely to have the oldest workforce in Europe. That title will go to the Netherlands, where 70% of workers are expected to be working past retirement age.
Health not wealth
But why are so many individuals considering working past their 65th birthdays? Well, according to the Aegon report, it’s not purely due to financial reasons.
Over half of UK workers (55%) said they wanted to continue working later into their lives to remain active and keep their brains alert, while a further 37% said they wanted to work past retirement age because they enjoy their job.
The reason for the majority of UK workers citing the health benefits associated with working can be found by looking at their top concerns about later life. With declining physical health cited as the greatest retirement concern (48%), followed by fears of Alzheimer’s or dementia (41%), it seems that it is health not wealth that most people are thinking about. In fact, both of the aforementioned health concerns were seen as a larger consideration than running out of money (cited by 40% of survey respondents).
On average, UK workers expect to live to the age of 80. However, many expect their last five years to be lived in poorer health.
Interestingly, only 28% of UK workers are aiming for a ‘cliff edge’ retirement, which is where a person stops working in one go. This is not only the lowest percentage across Europe, but one of the lowest across the 15 countries surveyed. For comparison, 52% of workers in Spain said they would stop work altogether and start enjoying their retirements.
Supporting wealth, protecting health
Speaking about the findings of the research, Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon, said: “People are increasingly redefining their working years and time spent in retirement, choosing to blend work commitments with more free time as they transition into retirement. There’s also a growing recognition that in addition to supporting our wealth, work can protect our health too.”
It’s a reality for many older workers that they will work beyond their 65th birthdays. While many will do so because they enjoy their jobs, the majority are thinking about the associated health benefits.
While financial safeguards like income protection, life insurance and critical illness cover are important at any age, they become more of a necessity as people start experiencing the health issues that come with getting older.
Tom is the Sales Director for Premier Choice Group. In his role, Tom oversee’s growth across all areas of the business while maintaining a small number of his own clients. At Premier Choice, Tom and the team deliver a unique, personal service to every client, while growing the business and maintaining a strong reputation as the UK’s best intermediary.