Almost half of workers in Northern Ireland expect to work beyond 65 to afford their retirement.

47% of workers in Northern Ireland aged 40-641 – estimated to be more than 297,8002 people – say they will not have enough money to retire when they reach state pension age, according to YouGov research in 2017 for the Charity Age NI and Business in the Community.

Age UK’s public policy paper ‘Creating a career MOT at 503, highlights the difficulties facing many workers who cannot afford to down tools when they become eligible for their State Pension.

The number of people over 65 years living in Northern Ireland is expected to increase by 74.4% in the next twenty years4. As we live longer, people are increasingly planning to work longer and for many this is in to their late 60s and beyond, with 46% saying they would do so to afford their desired lifestyle in retirement. More than a third (37%) who believe they will be working past state pension age plan to continue working in their current job with the same hours, while 34% intend to reduce their hours

The research highlights that not having enough money was the most common reason to continue working. Others included enjoying the social side of working (30%) and worrying they would get bored or lonely at home (31%).

But many are concerned about their health or fitness to continue working. Of those who expect to stop working or to reduce their hours before their late 60s, almost three in ten (28%) say their job is too physically demanding to continue working into their late 60s, while a third (33%) expect their health won’t be good enough.

Age discrimination could also have an impact on people’s ability to continue working or change roles. Almost one in four adults aged 40 to 64 (24%) has felt disadvantaged or treated negatively when at work or applying for jobs past the age of 40. Having a career MOT at the age of 50 appealed to nearly two thirds (63%) of those surveyed, this would include in-depth career and financial planning for retirement.

The research showed that, alongside in-depth career and retirement planning advice, many people are also keen to receive guidance on how they can boost their savings. Consideration of their pension/savings provision topped the wish-list of things to include in the MOT. This included:

  • A consideration of their pension/savings provision to help them save enough for their retirement – 52%
  • A discussion about what job(s) they might want to do for the rest of their working lives – 47%
  • An assessment of their transferable skills and experience – 42%
  • Support in planning their ideal retirement – 43%
  • The impact of their health on future working prospects – 43%
  • Identifying any skills they may need in the future and options for training – 40%
  • A discussion about different types of flexible working and how to raise that with their employer – 43%

What is Business in the Community doing?

Business in the Community and Age NI have formed a partnership across the nations to support employers and older employees through the Age at Work campaign. Under the key strands of recruitment and retention, Age at Work will work with employers to support older workers to remain in work or return to work in order to help them have enough income, stay connected and have a fuller working life.

Click here to read more about the programme or contact Nicola Thompson on (028) 9046 0606 for further information.