The UK workforce is ageing at a rapid rate with more than seven out of 10 employees now set to work beyond their 65th birthday, according to new research.
Canada Life Group Insurance which is tracking this trend, says this equates to around 23m older workers. Its figures also show more than a third of employees (37 per cent) expect to work beyond their 75th birthday.
This is a significant increase on previous years. In 2015, just 61 per cent of employees said they planned to work beyond the age of 65.
There are a variety of external factors that appear to be exacerbating this trend. Most of those expecting to stay in work for longer cited rising living costs as a factor. This was the reason given by 71 per cent of these employees.
Meanwhile 63 per cent of employees blamed inflation for eating into the value of their savings. A similar proportion (62 per cent) said a poor return on their savings was forcing them to work beyond a traditional retirement age. Slow wage growth was cited by 58 per cent of respondents.
Many UK employees also recognised that poor retirement planning was playing a part. A third of respondents (32 per cent) said they needed to continue earning because of insufficient pension savings. This figures rose to 39 per cent for those in the 45 to 54 year age group.
However, not everyone views working for longer as a negative prospect: three in 10 (30 per cent) say they will work longer because they enjoy their job, while one in six (17 per cent) employees say they will stay in work to continue receiving employee benefits.
In particular, income protection (17 per cent) and life insurance (16 per cent) are highly valued benefits for employees who are considering working beyond the age of 65.
Canada Life Group Insurance marketing director Paul Avis says: “It comes as little surprise that UK workers are expecting to work longer. The rising cost of living and poor returns on savings continue to exert pressure on employee’s finances.
“We found well over a third would consider themselves lucky to retire before 75.
“Employers would do well to take note of the growing number of workers planning to work beyond 65 not because of their finances, but because they find their jobs enjoyable and rewarding. These people can be a good influence on the rest of the workforce and employers should look at what cards they have up their sleeves to retain them.
“Income protection and critical illness cover should be at the top of employers’ lists to appeal to an ageing workforce. They are increasingly popular with employees planning to work beyond 65, protecting as they do against ill health and conditions which become increasingly likely with age.”