Although a lot of people long for the day they can give up work and head blissfully into their golden years, it seems that not everyone is ready to throw in the towel just yet. In fact, research from MetLife has revealed that a large proportion of older workers are actively intending to work past standard retirement age, with both full-time and part-time working being considered.
The figures show that 54% of over-55s surveyed want to keep working past the standard retirement age of 65, with one in four of those looking to reduce their hours and opt for part-time working. Over 90% of those happy to keep being full-timers would want to stay with their current employer, while 60% seeking part-time hours would be more likely to switch to a new role.
According to MetLife, this shift towards part-time working highlights the need for changes to retirement income solutions, helping people adapt to new patterns of working and potential reductions in income. It also shows the importance of getting a suitable amount of financial advice, with two-fifths of those surveyed having failed to take any – an action which 19% of respondents regret.
Dominic Grinstead, UK managing director at MetLife, said: "As life expectancy is rising and working lives are getting longer, the demands on retirement income have evolved and the demand for part-time working reflects that. New living patterns require retirement income solutions that offer flexibility to ensure sufficient income will be provided in later life.
"However the research also shows that people are not taking – or getting – the advice they need to adapt. Sound independent financial advice is central to people's ability to make the right retirement income choice."
It just shows that those considering leaving work need to be totally prepared, and if you're one of the 54% hoping to work long into traditional retirement age it seems you could get your wish – perhaps sooner than anticipated. Earlier this week former head of the Financial Services Authority Lord Adair Turner, who has been instrumental in the development and subsequent implementation of auto-enrolment, has called for state pension age (SPA) to be increased to 70 by the year 2040.
This would be some 20 years ahead of schedule. Under current Government plans, a state pension age of 69 wouldn't be hit until the late 2040s with SPA being linked to life expectancy thereafter, with it being estimated that age 70 wouldn't be reached until at least 2060. The idea of making retirement saving compulsory has also been suggested, along with increasing minimum contribution levels, thereby ensuring people have enough pension savings to give them a comfortable retirement – even if it's later than planned.
If Lord Turner's proposal came to fruition, it could mean people are working much longer, much sooner.
It's a definite tale of two halves, as for some people working longer would give them the opportunity to not only save more for retirement but to remain active in a professional environment for longer, while others would be reluctant to stay in work for that length of time.
No matter when you choose to give up work though, one thing remains vital – making sure you've saved up enough to live your golden years in comfort. Automatic enrolment should ensure you keep your workplace pension scheme happily ticking over, particularly with the added input of employer contributions, and you'll want to maximise your savings with an ISA too – as well as any other savings or investment products you might decide to go for.
Of course, getting suitable financial advice is key, so don't overlook this most important of considerations and you can live (or work) your golden years in comfort.
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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