Pensions and the future of retirement are certain to be one of the biggest issues facing people today and in the future with the current government searching for solutions to the current problems.
In the search for answers it is the over 50s generation that are leading the way for everyone else. Planning for retirement is one of the biggest financial challenges of your life and the one you can least afford to get wrong.
On a positive note there are the huge improvements in health that have seen the average life expectancy rise significantly. In 2010, the Office for National Statistics quoted the average life expectancy at birth at 78.2 for men and 82.3 years for women.
Many want to work past traditional retirement ages and now the perception of the basic state pension is no longer seen as the old age pension.
Many people in their fifties appear to be planning to work beyond their state pension age. Recent research is worrying as 64 per cent of working adults aged 50+ admit they do not believe or know whether they will achieve their retirement income target.
Only 26 per cent of the over 50s say they are already prepared for retirement. It is now easier to work beyond age 65 as employers are no longer able to dispense with one’s services simply because you have reached retirement age.
They now have to be able to show that your age makes it impossible to do your job adequately. This is backed up by research carried out by Saga that says 27 per cent of the over 50s who are planning their retirement expect to work past 65.
Take B&Q as an example for whom 25 per cent of their workforce is aged over 50 or more, the oldest being 91. Their reasons being that this age group can demonstrate rapport and enthusiasm in their jobs. One branch of B&Q employed over 50s only. The results have been higher profits, staff turnover reduced and less short term absenteeism.
However at the same time retirement saving is under more pressure than ever before. Companies are retreating from offering generous final salary schemes offering inflation proofed income in retirement. Stock markets have not delivered.
Pension payouts are being squeezed. Rates for males have dropped 46 per cent for males and 42 per cent for females in the last 15 years. The state pension has fallen dramatically in value. Currently it is worth just 16 per cent of earnings compared to 26 per cent in 1979 and 20 per cent in 1987.