Last updated: 15.01.15

Are attitudes towards retirement changing?

Attitudes towards retirement and the challenges that older workers can face are changing as government research has revealed that nearly half of over-50s in the UK want to stay in employment between the ages of 65 and 70.

The survey of over 2,000 retired and non-retired people aged over 50, conducted by YouGov, formed part of Dr Ros Altmann's work as the recently appointed 'business champion for older workers'.

It revealed that nearly two-thirds of respondents don't believe that working full-time and then completely stopping is the best approach to retirement. Instead, more flexible approaches were favoured, with one in four over-50s expressing interest in alternative retirement methods like taking a few months off and then returning to work.

On the other hand, 39 per cent of employed over-50s said they would prefer to work part-time or more flexible hours before stopping work altogether.

Alongside showing changing attitudes to working in later life, the research exposed the challenges that older workers can face.

Some 23 per cent of employees aged over 50 reported feeling viewed 'less favourably than younger workers', while 15 per cent admitted to experiencing age-based discrimination in the workplace.

Steve Webb, minister for pensions, said: "The results show there is no single view of retirement any more, but the message from older workers is clear; employers need to keep up with changes to society and we have to ensure over-50s have the skills in place to continue developing their careers throughout their working lives.

"We are making giant steps in improving this support with almost 250,000 more people aged 50 to 64 joining the labour market over the last year and over a million workers aged 65 and over now in work."

Ms Altmann's research is due to launch in April and will introduce older workers' "champions" into UK job centres, who will offer career support, guidance and advice to those aged over 50 who are struggling to find employment.

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