This growing group of late retirees wanted to, on average, stop work just after their 70th birthday. Yet video interviews which Dunstan Thomas conducted around the country uncovered evidence of Boomers being pushed into retirement against their will, for example losing a job in their early 60s and then struggling to find suitable work. Many are having to reinvent themselves to keep working through their 60s.
The study found multiple reasons why many Baby Boomers want to retire well after they are able to pick up their State Pensions:
- Decline of generous DB pension holder numbers: Under half (47%) of Boomers have access to the more generous Defined Benefit (DB) final salary pensions. Those with only Defined Contribution (DC) pensions anticipate relying on them for just 37% of their total retirement income needs.
Many want to work on to avoid taking a hit to their lifestyles in retirement. Average annual household pre-tax income of Boomers still working full-time is £44,979 but falls by a third to £30,255 once retired.
- Intergenerational subsidisation: Boomers are increasingly supporting both their children and grandchildren deep into old age. This means that they anticipate needing more retirement savings than they may have originally planned for.
Nearly a quarter (23%) of retired Boomers are still financially supporting their children and the average length of time they expect to keep this up in retirement is 9.6 years. Our study also found that 16% of Boomers are supporting their grandchildren.
- Changing attitudes to retirement: Many Boomers anticipate living longer and don’t want to be retired for too many years as life expectancy gradually rises. Many equate continuing in work with better quality of life and good mental health.
Average life expectancy in the UK is up slightly in 2022 to 81.65 years (Source: Office of National Statistics) and average current retirement age is 63.4 years, according to the Dunstan Thomas Baby Boomer Retirement Study. So, on average the length of retirement for those giving up work this year is 18.25 years – that’s a ‘retired life’ almost 50% of typical working lives today!
Adrian Boulding, Director of Retirement Strategy at Dunstan Thomas, explained:
“HR plays a vital role in job retention. If businesses want their older workers to stay with them, adjustments must be made to prevent them being edged out of the business at ‘traditional’ retirement ages which are rapidly becoming an anachronism.”
“Human resources should offer training programmes targeted at older workers to ensure they do not feel they are out of their depth amongst young ‘digital native’ graduates.”
“I hear a lot of HR Directors warning about ‘The Great Resignation’, as many workers contemplate changing jobs as we come out of the pandemic, posing a serious threat to many organizations’ plans for customer retention and sales growth. Dunstan Thomas’ research finds the solution is staring them in the face if only they are able embrace the concept of older workers faster than their competitors.”