Sixty per cent of over 50's feel that there is not enough help given to them to remain in the workplace after the default retirement age, despite one in three people wanting to do so, according to new research out today.
SAGA and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) say that two thirds of over 50's (67 per cent) believe a default retirement age is unnecessary. 90 per cent say that retirement should not be about age, but about ability and desire to work and 85 per cent say that the default retirement age is used as an excuse by employers to get rid of staff.
The survey of 13,040 over 50's reveals that rather than being a drain on society in retirement, a third want to continue working after retirement age with a further 12 per cent wanting to contribute to society in some way - either through volunteering or caring.
Emma Soames, editor at large, Saga Magazine, says: 'Our research very clearly shows that a default retirement age is arbitrary for many people approaching retirement and many feel unsupported, particularly if they want to continue working. Moving from full time work to retirement should be a process of winding down - more akin to strolling down to the beach rather than being pushed off the cliff edge.'
The most common reason for working after retirement was to earn money (61 per cent) followed by wanting to keep an active mind (59 per cent) and enjoyment of working (50 per cent). 46 per cent agreed that it should be for the individual to decide when to retire, not the state. 46 per cent also stated that they could not afford to stop working at the default retirement age.
Jonathan Kestenbaum, Chief Executive of NESTA, says: 'Against a backdrop of an ageing society and strained public services older people can contribute immeasurably to the economy and society. Our survey shows that they want choice and flexibility in how they live their lives. We need a radical rethink of how we engage with older people.'
Further research shows:
* A third (35 per cent) of over 50's want to continue working after the state retirement age, whether full time, part time work or by setting up a business
* A third (31 per cent) want to stop working before the state retirement age and 14 per cent want to stop working at the state retirement age
NESTA's 'Age Unlimited' programme works with people in their 50s, employers and third sector organisations to experiment with new work patterns and lifestyle choices that enable them to continue to contribute to the economy and society.
For more information please visit www.nesta.org.uk/age_unlimited
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