Ageism is set to threaten plans for late retirement

Half of all people aged over 50 want to work past retirement age, but eight
out of 10 claim to have been victims of age discrimination by employers.

Research by Age Concern and recruitment firm Reed also shows that four in
five felt their job applications had been rejected because of their age.

Of the 3,000 people aged 50-plus who were surveyed, one in three believe
ageism begins to prejudice employment opportunities before staff reach 45.

Age discrimination at work will become illegal in the UK with the
implementation of EU law in December 2006.

Sam Mercer, director of the Employers Forum on Age, said the research was
welcome because it would wake employers up to the fact that people could soon
be working many years longer than at present.

The report shows a major shift in the amount of people intending to work
past the State Pension Age in the future, with 48 per cent saying they would
work beyond retirement age, compared with the 9 per cent of people over
retirement age currently in work.

"This challenges the stereotype that people want to get out of work and
shows that keeping experienced staff for longer will help to address skills
shortages," Mercer said.

"That so many feel they have been discriminated against because of
their age will be a sobering statistic for employers, and should be used to
reinforce [the fact] that it will soon be unlawful," she added.

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