Nearly Three-Quarters Of UK Employees Plan To Work Beyond 65

In Employee Benefits, Insurance, Protection by Stephen Ellis

A poll by a leading insurer has found that a significant proportion of UK employees plan to work past the age of 65, with two in five (37%) saying they’ll be working until they are at least 75.

According to the poll of 1,002 full- and part-time employees by Canada Life Group Insurance, an estimated 23 million employees in the UK (71%) are planning to work beyond their 65th birthday.

Of those workers planning to work beyond the age of 65, 71% cited rising living costs as the primary reason for doing so, while rising inflation impacting the value of savings (63%), poor returns on savings (62%), slow wage growth (58%) and the economic uncertainty caused by Brexit (51%) were other reasons also given.

Worryingly, around a third of respondents (32%) said their pension savings are not enough to allow them to stop working at the age of 65. A further 25% said they cannot rely on a state pension or benefits, while 21% said they have actually saved for their retirement, but rising living costs will mean they need to continue working after 65.

Just under a third (30%) said they enjoyed their jobs and would like to work for as long as they are able to. A further 21% said they enjoy the social benefits they get from having a job.

Speaking about the findings of the research, Paul Avis, marketing director at Canada Life Group Insurance, said: “Employers would do well to take note of the growing number of [employees] planning to work beyond 65 not because of their finances, but because they find their jobs enjoyable and rewarding. These people can be a good influence on the rest of the workforce and employers should look at what cards they have up their sleeves to retain them.”

Income protection and life insurance are especially valued by older workers

In terms of the benefits most valued by individuals who are planning on working past the age of 65, income protection (17%), life insurance (16%), critical illness cover (13%) and having access to an employee assistance programme (10%) were all highly valued.

For employers looking to appeal to an ageing workforce, benefits like income protection, life insurance and critical illness cover should be at the top of the list of benefits they offer. Income protection and critical illness cover, in particular, can provide financial reassurance in the face of conditions and ill health that become increasingly likely as people age.

Furthermore, these benefits can usually be offered alongside an employee assistance programme, allowing employers to provide a complete range of appreciated employee benefits.

The key for employers is to plan ahead, as doing so often removes the need for medical questionnaires for the majority of their workforce.

With the State Pension Age now increasing and pension annuity rates remaining depressed, many workers now have no alternative but to work beyond the age of 65. As we get older, our ability to recover from illness or accident decreases, which brings this type of benefit firmly into the spotlight.

Stephen joined Premier Choice in 2006 as a Group Risk consultant and became Head of Group Risk in June 2013. In December 2017, Stephen also took over responsibility for the Protection division within Premier Choice and works to grow this in the same way he has the Group Risk division. Protection is a specialist area and fits well with his experience and expertise in the group risk market.