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Two-thirds of Britons to continue working post-retirement

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Two thirds of UK workers intend to carry on working into their retirement, according to new Aegon research.

The findings indicate that 36 per cent plan to continue working in their current role until they have enough saved, 28 per cent expect their employer to create a part-time or flexible role, and 9 per cent expect to become self-employed.

Workers in healthcare (40 per cent) administrative (31 per cent) and engineering and manufacturing sectors (32 per cent) are most likely to expect their employer to create a flexible role for them, while those in the creative arts and design sector (32 per cent) are more inclined to become self-employed and start up their own business.

It coincides with a number of recent studies that point to a longer retirement for UK workers, where living beyond a hundred will become much more common for children born within the next generation. The latest wealth and assets survey from the Office for National Statistics showed that 58 per cent of those surveyed in 2012-2014 now believe they will retire aged 65-69, up from 54 per cent in the previous two years.

UK workers are waking up to the possibility that they may have to work for longer than they expected, as 93 per cent of the UK public are falling behind on their retirement savings. Most it seems would prefer to work on rather than dip into their pension savings, with 8 per cent of UK professionals approaching age 55 planning to take a lump sum as they near retirement.

Retirement expectations

Most workers aspire to retire earlier than the state pension age. By 2018 the state pension age will be 65 for both men and women. The findings suggest workers currently expect to retire at 63, five years earlier than today’s average 30 year old will be able to.

Finance professionals, with the highest average pay of £38,000, expect to retire the earliest at 62, while those working in education, with a lower annual salary of £26,000, expect to retire later at 64. However, IT professionals who have the same average salary as those working in finance, still expect to retire two years after their counterparts at 63. Those working in Admin have a relatively low average income of £23,000, yet expect to retire relatively early compared to other professionals at 63.

Retirement confidence

36 per cent of workers are confident of hitting their retirement target. 25 per cent are concerned about retiring later than initially planned. 39 per cent are neither confident nor concerned.

“Workers across the UK are waking up to the reality that they will likely have to work well past their planned retirement age to make up for shortfalls in their savings,” said Angela Seymour Jackson, managing director of workplace pensions at Aegon UK.

“With so many expecting to work on past traditional retirement age on more flexible contracts, employers will need to move quickly to accommodate this new later-life work culture. Creating a flexible and inclusive workplace strategy won’t only benefit those working longer to hit their savings targets but, according to recent research, will also prove good for business, adding £100 billion to UK productivity.

“While there are benefits for the economy in older people staying in the workforce, it should be a matter of choice as to whether people continue working and not simply down to a lack of savings. For this reason it’s important that pension providers and employers engage workers early with their pension in order that they understand how on track they are with their savings.”

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