More people than ever expecting to work past 65

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Low returns on savings, insufficient pensions and enjoying a job were all reasons given

The proportion of UK employees who say they will work beyond the age of 65 is at an all-time high, according to research from Canada Life Group Insurance.

Its survey of 1,004 British workers found that 73% of employees expect to work beyond the traditional retirement age, up from 67% in 2016 and 61% in 2015.

More than a third (37%) of those who intend to work beyond the age of 65 say they could be older than 70 before they eventually retire. One in 10 (10%) expect to be at least 85 when they retire, if able to retire at all.

A third (31%) expect to work beyond 65 because of a low return on their savings, representing around 10 million people. In 2016 just 23% thought they would need to work beyond this age for the same reason.

More than a third (36%) said that their pension will not be sufficient so they will need to continue earning a wage. However, 34% of people said they hope to keep working beyond 65 because they enjoy their job so much.

When it came to concerns about working when older, the majority cited their health (57%) and energy levels (48%). Other challenges respondents highlighted included keeping up with new technology (21%), coping with the daily commute (19%), and still being engaged in their job or company (18%).

Paul Avis, marketing director of Canada Life Group Insurance, explained why many people now expect to work into later life.

“Savers have suffered from paltry returns ever since interest rates fell to 0.5% eight years ago,” he said. “This is having a direct impact on UK workers’ retirement plans; with many forced to work longer than they would have hoped to. As inflation continues to rise, eating into the purchasing power of UK savings, this problem will only become more pronounced.

“Insufficient pension savings are another key cause, with recent reforms prompting many to realise they will need to continue earning for longer to fund a decent retirement.”

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