New generation of workers faces stark future

A job for life is a thing of the past for today's workers. Picture: Getty
A job for life is a thing of the past for today's workers. Picture: Getty
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British workers starting on the career ladder will change jobs more often, work longer than their grandparents and earn less than their parents, according to research.

However, it’s not all bad – they will get more holidays and have a shorter commute, a new survey has found.

Unlike grandparents and parents, who enjoy some form of job security, a job for life is now thought to be virtually extinct, with only 1.5 per cent of new workers expected to have one job across their working lives.

Today’s youngsters will do double the number of jobs their grandparents had, having on average nine jobs and moving roles every five years to earn more or advance ­careers. They will also undergo one complete change in career.

A new worker faces a significantly longer working life, retiring seven years later than their grandparents did with an average retirement age of just 59. Some 23 per cent will work well into their 70s. Meanwhile, 55 per cent can also expect to be made redundant at least once across their 48 working years.


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Recent real-wage falls also mean that the workers can now expect a lower full-time starting salary than their parents, getting just £14,000 compared to their father or mother’s £17,000 starting salary at today’s prices.

Despite the working-from-home rate doubling over the past 30 years, we are less happy with our work-life balance today than our grandparents were (72 per cent versus 68 per cent).

The research, from LV= focused on 3,000 employed or retired Britons. It found “job hopping” faced by young workers could leave them without a pension when they eventually retire.

Shorter stints at numerous jobs could result in millions being lost in pension savings, as people lose track of schemes. Numerous pension pots can also lead to confusion, with two-fifths of those with one or more pensions products unsure of the total value of their reserves.

Shorter stints could also prompt workers to opt out of auto-enrolment if they consider the job to be a stop-gap rather than a significant career move.

LV=’s Richard Rowney said: “The job for life is clearly a thing of the past, as more of us now move roles and even switch careers. The disappearance of generous workplace pensions that were ‘golden handcuffs’ for generations of workers is likely to be a key factor.

“This change means that responsibility for planning for retirement now lies more with the individual. However, with people working in more and more roles, savings pots can easily be forgotten. For many, it would make sense for them to consolidate these pots into one to make their fund easier to monitor.

“To help savers keep track and better understand their pension savings, we continue to call on the government to back our idea of a ‘pensions passport’.”


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