Wednesday, June 16, 2010

United Kingdom: Survey Shows Older Workers Not Planning for Retirement

According to a study released by the Institute for Employment Studies, older workers in the United Kingdom aren’t planning for the future and are confused by what constitutes "the right age" to think about retirement. The study--"Should I Stay, Or Should I Go? Older employees’ later life planning in a business context"--found that the recession has altered the retirement landscape significantly as redundancies and recruitment freezes have led to higher levels of unemployment among the older workers. Among the findings of the study:
  • While some respondents had a clear plan mapped out for the future of their working life and beyond, others, particularly those in their early 50s, seem to have done little in the way of forward planning. When considering retirement, two perspectives frame employees’ thinking. First, the kind of people they are in terms of age, health and family interests; and second, their particular financial and work situation.
  • The individual may no longer be in the driving seat of his or her later life and retirement planning. Older workers are potentially an easy target for companies looking to cut costs, and those losing their jobs cannot afford to take the early retirement as they might have done in financially healthier times.
  • Some older employees are comfortable dealing with the uncertainty and complexity inherent in the later life planning, but a greater number are rather ambivalent about whether to plan in the first place and unsure about the process.
  • Line managers play a key role in supporting older employees’ planning, but they are enabled or constrained by business needs. Some interviewees conveyed a sense of feeling sidelined, watching their employer’s effort to bring in younger employees.
  • Flexible ways of staying on, presented transparently as viable options, can help maintain engagement and a sense of security, as well as retain important skills and experience
According to one of the authors of the study, Marie Strebler, "[e]mployers seem to be stuck in reactive mode. They provide retirement support, however they are failing to encourage people to stay, treating requests on a case-by-case basis and thus missing opportunities to retain much needed and valuable skills."

Source: Institute for Employment Studies Press Release (June 15, 2010)

No comments: