Saturday, 28 November 2009

Record number of older workers forced to shelve retirement plans due to financial crisis

A report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Developmen shows that 70 per cent of workers aged 55 and above said the financial crisis had left them with no option but to shelve their retirement plans.

The figure was just 40 per cent in the same survey two years ago.The research reveals that private sector workers are the biggest losers.

Only 36 per cent of workers in the private sector have a company pension, compared to 90 per cent of public sector workers.

The research will fuel the debate about 'pensions apartheid', with public sector workers enjoying gold-plated pensions - but almost nobody else.By comparison, few private sector workers even get a company pension, and even fewer get one that will pay for a decent retirement.

Without an adequate company pension, they have no alternative but to keep working beyond state pension age, currently 60 for women and 65 for men.

Private sector workers represent around 80 per cent of the workforce, but more and more are being left to face a financially tough retirement.

The survey, which interviewed around 2,000 people of working age, shows how the recession has escalated the financial crisis facing older workers. When the same question was asked two years ago, 40 per cent of workers aged 55 and above said they would have to work beyond state pension age.

But, just 24 months later, nearly three- quarters of workers are planning to stay in their jobs at an age when most of their parents and grandparents had retired.

This research unfortunately does not mention the other studies which show that more and more older workers want to continue in paid work but they do not want more of the same. Our book discusses this in great detail.

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