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Days could be numbered for ‘cliff-edge’ retirements

Written by: Danielle Levy
Close to half of workers aged 50 and over plan to work for longer and ease into retirement, research from insurer Aegon has shown.

The company found that workers across all income bands favour a phase of ‘pre-tirement’, which involves adjusting the amount of time they work before they give up work altogether.

This means UK workers will continue working later in life, albeit in a reduced capacity.

There was only one area in the UK out of a possible 12 that preferred a so-called ‘cliff edge’ retirement approach, where workers move from employment straight into full retirement. The north east of England represented the only area in favour of this retirement path.

Overall, 31% of workers over the age of 50 did not agree with the traditional ‘cliff edge’ retirement. Among those who favoured a transitional approach, 70% planned to work fewer days, while 44% intended to reduce the number of hours they work each day.

This helps to explain why a third of survey respondents wanted to see more flexible working arrangements in place.

The concept of retirement is changing from traditional to transitional. As people enjoy longer life spans, they no longer yearn to down tools and start retirement in one fell swoop,” explained Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon.

In his opinion, the research shatters the concept that retirement is a single day event.

“Enabling individuals to remain economically active into later life is also good for employers and the broader economy,” he added.

Aegon’s research was conducted in conjunction with Opinium and is based on responses from 1007 workers aged 50 and over.

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