Recent research from the ONS has revealed shocking inequality amongst pensions across the UK – as a result of inflation and the rising cost of living – with one third of UK employees not expecting to have any pension provision beyond state pension when they retire.
Those who are self-employed or on lower incomes will be impacted the most by pension wealth inequality.
With the number of older workers steadily increasing over the last decade, Nick Jones – Head of Retirement Living at Lottie – warns of the impact the pensions crisis will have on older workers approaching retirement:
“The recent figures released by ONS are shocking – and we need to raise awareness of the impact this inequality will have on those approaching retirement.
There are statistically more older workers in employment than ever before – perhaps due to the rising cost of living, inflation, and the amount of remote working opportunities available across the UK.
With inequality in pension wealth across the UK, many older workers are struggling to save money and plan for their retirement. It’s more important than ever for businesses to support all their employees who may be struggling with the increased cost of living by offering financial, practical and wellbeing help.”
Nick Jones continues: “Lottie’s new research has also found a surge of people ‘unretiring’ over the last 12 months – and the reasons for people re-joining employment can be both positive and negative:
- 100% increase in Google searches for ‘working part time after retirement’
- 50% increase in Google searches for ‘post retirement jobs’
An ageing population means people are living longer and healthier lives, giving more older workers the opportunity to remain in the workforce. Similarly, with an increase in remote and hybrid working, older workers have the flexibility to maintain a good work-life balance, and gradually unwind before retiring.
However, with the rising cost of living crisis, it’s no surprise we’ve seen a surge of retirees heading back to work. Inflation is on the rise, causing many households to feel a huge amount of stress and worry – which is especially heightened for those on a limited income, or planning to reduce their income soon.”
Lottie’s new research has found a surge of employees turning to Google for retirement support – as opposed to their employer.
With the rising cost of living, lack of pension wealth and financial worries, more older workers are deciding to return to work after retirement – whilst they financially plan for their future years.
Over the last 12 months our new research has found a surge of people turning to Google for support with retirement planning:
- 122% increase in searches on Google for ‘retirement investment’
- 100% increase in searches on Google for ‘financial advice for retirement planning’
- 40% increases in searches on Google for ‘retirement financial advisor’
“This new research – coupled with the latest ONS release – highlights the importance of raising awareness of the support available to older workers planning for retirement, especially during the cost-of-living crisis”, shares Nick Jones.
As inflation increases, the pension wealth gap across the UK will also grow – meaning the level of support older employees will require when it comes to financially planning for the present and the future will increase.
This is where businesses can step in to offer practical, financial and wellbeing initiatives to help all employees plan for their retirement years.”
Here’s 4 practical ways employers can support older workers in the workplace:
By creating age-friendly workplaces where people of all ages are supported, valued, and fulfilled, businesses can increase their employee satisfaction, wellbeing, and productivity.
- Help employees plan for their future
As employees approach the latter stages of their careers, many may start to think about their financial situation, what the next few years at work will look like, what age to consider retirement and what life after work means for them.
Businesses can help employees plan ahead and make the transition from work to retirement easier by providing support for anyone approaching retirement.
For example, you could provide practical workshops aimed at helping older workers to achieve any career milestones, explore what the future may look like for them and sharing advice when it comes to financial planning
- Encourage career development
Career development boosts employee motivation and it is just as important for older workers, as it is for those starting out their careers.
Encouraging all employees to follow their aspirations, achieve their goals and continue to develop their skillset, helps to build a resilient workforce. Offering on-going training will also ensure all employees remain up to date with the latest industry changes.
- Promote a positive work life balance
Previous research has found nearly four fifths of workers over 50 years of age desire flexible working hours.
Flexible working allows older employees the flexibility to remain in the workforce longer, whilst also gradually winding down from full time employment. This can help many workers ease the transition to retirement.
- Consider the unique needs of older workers
Health has the biggest impact on many older workers’ decisions to remain in the workplace. Many older employees face a unique set of challenges in the workplace and the adjustments required differ for each employee.
Supporting your employees with health and wellbeing initiatives and access to healthcare not only encourages a happy and healthy workforce, but also helps older workers to feel supported in the workplace.
Author: Nick Jones, Head of Retirement Living at Lottie, a digital marketplace that connects care seekers to the UK’s best care homes.