Almost half of Welsh people can't afford to retire

Reporter:

Terry Canty

Nearly half of the workforce in Wales (48 per cent) aged 40-64 say they will not have enough money to retire when they reach state

pension age.

Workers in Wales are increasingly planning to work into their late 60s and beyond, with 50 per cent saying they would do so

to afford their desired lifestyle in retirement, according to YouGov research for the charity Age Cymru.

43 per cent who believe they will be working past state pension age plan to continue working in their current job with the

same hours, while 20 per cent intend to reduce their hours. Not having enough money was the most common reason to

continue working. Others included enjoying the social side of working (20 per cent), and worrying they would get

bored or lonely at home (24 per cent).

But many are concerned about their health or fitness to continue working. Of those who expect to stop working or

to reduce their hours before their late 60s, almost one in four (24 per cent) say their job is too physically demanding to

continue working into their late 60s, while 21 per cent expect their health won’t be good enough.

Age discrimination could also have an impact on people’s ability to continue working or change roles. More than one

in four adults aged 40 to 64 (26 per cent) has felt disadvantaged or treated negatively when at work or applying for jobs

past the age of 40.

More than half (53 per cent) are interested in the idea of a Career MOT at 50, including in-depth career and retirement

planning advice.

Age Cymru and Business in the Community (BITC) Cymru are calling for action to help people plan their later working

lives and explore how they can put enough money aside for the future while there’s still time to make a difference.

Society is ageing. According to the Office for National Statistics, in Wales, the number of people aged 65 and over is

projected to increase by 292,000 (44 per cent) between 2014 and 2039. But whilst people are living almost a decade longer

than their grandparents, people today are leaving the labour market earlier than in 1950.

As well as those having planned and set aside to retire early, there are a lot of people exiting the labour market

before ideally they would choose. In many cases they may not have sufficient income for their future to sustain the

lifestyle they would have envisaged.

Age Cymru and BITC Cymru have formed a partnership to support older workers and employers through the

Age@Work campaign. There are almost one million people aged 50-64 in the UK who are not working but state that

they are willing to work. Age@Work aims to support older workers in Wales to remain in work or return to work in

order to help them have enough income, stay connected and have a fuller working life.

Earlier this year the Welsh Government launched a campaign seeking to challenge stereotypes, demonstrate the

value of a multigenerational workforce and encourage employers to continually invest in skills throughout their

employees’ working lives; Age Cymru believes this positive action should be underpinned with the offer of a career

MOT for everyone at age 50, giving people time to make plans for the smoothest possible transition to retirement.

Victoria Lloyd, Age Cymru’s Deputy Chief Executive said: “We are concerned that retirement feels increasingly out of

reach and unaffordable for older people in Wales. While there are many factors that help us reach the decision to

continue or stop working, we want all over 50s to be able to make informed choices about training, pension provision

and future career options.

“We’re urging the Welsh Government to continue to invest in our older workers, tackle barriers to working, and offer

mid-career guidance to everyone who requires it through a career MOT for the over-50s.”

Matt Appleby, Director, Business in the Community Cymru said: “The ageing population is one of the biggest

challenges that Wales will face going forward. As the voice of the responsible business community, BITC Cymru are

delighted to be working with Age Cymru on the Age@Work campaign. We want fewer people retiring involuntarily

before pension age and more people in good, decent work beyond pension age. We hope that by raising awareness

of these issues and by supporting employers and employees that we can bring about real change in the perceptions

of older workers and embrace the real opportunity of multi-generational workplaces.”

Email:

terry.canty@nwn.co.uk

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