Most Britons expect to work on after ‘retirement’

Most elderly people in Britain expect to be working beyond the retirement age. Picture: Getty
Most elderly people in Britain expect to be working beyond the retirement age. Picture: Getty
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MORE than two thirds of people in the UK expect to continue to do some work after they technically retire, a report has claimed.

Just 29 per cent of UK workers believe that when they come to retire they will stop working altogether, according to pensions firm Aegon’s retirement readiness survey.

Instead, they will enter into what is being dubbed a “phased retirement”, in which they will use some aspect of flexible working to combine leisure time with periods where they can still earn some extra money to top up their pensions.

The survey, which is based on interviews with 16,000 people in 15 countries, found that 36 per cent of people in the UK anticipate they will continue to work for a while part-time or on temporary contracts while a further 14 per cent hope to continue working in some capacity – such as freelance – throughout retirement.

A spokeswoman for 
charity Age Scotland said that some people opt not to give up work entirely, but warned that others could not afford to retire completely.

She said: “This is something we have been coming across more and more recently. I think what we’re finding, from a positive point of view, is that a lot of people want to continue doing something in society and want to continue to contribute after retirement age, but the other angle is that there are people who have no other financially viable option.”

The report found that the proportion of people who will continue to work after retirement is higher in the UK than those living in other western European nations like Sweden, where 36 per cent will give up work entirely. In France it is 51 per cent and Spain is 52 per cent.

David Macmillan, managing director at Aegon UK, said: “We are living longer and many people can expect to spend 20 or 30 years in retirement. As a result it is not surprising that many 
people intend to work part-time in retirement and balance flexible working against leisure and activities they’ve always wanted to do. However, increased flexibility means people have more choice about how they take their pension income and it will become increasingly important that people have a plan in mind.”

New government regulations offer greater pensions flexibility for people who want to retire and start withdrawing an income from their pension.

Mr Macmillan added: “The government’s decision to provide greater pensions flexibility sits well with the plans of many workers who see retirement not as the day they stop working, but the point at which they scale back their hours.

“Many of these people are likely to start drawing some income from their pension in order to supplement their part-time earnings.”

The report also found that even though many people are likely to continue working into retirement in some capacity, they still associate the idea of retirement with positive words such as “leisure”, “freedom” and “opportunity”, compared with a small number who associate it with words such as “insecurity”, “boredom” or “poverty”.