Raising the state pension age is only a small part of the battle to overcome the pensions blackhole, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).
With so many older workers retiring before they reach the existing state pension age, the greater challenge is improving the management of older workers to ensure they want to remain in work and be productive.
Abolishing the mandatory retirement age, as recommended by Lord Turner in the Pensions Commission report, would remove the ‘ejector seat’ option from employers, and encourage better management of older workers.
Duncan Brown, CIPD assistant director general, said: “Raising the state pension age may well increase the notional supply of older workers, but it won’t necessarily increase the actual supply of them, or demand for them.
“One-quarter of men and one-third of women aged between 50 and the current state pension age are already not in the labour market. These people illustrate the real pensions and retirement challenge.”
Brown said too many employers are lazy in their attitudes to older workers, happy to place them in the ‘out tray’ for years before they actually retire.
This plays a part in declining job satisfaction amongst older workers, he said.
“The chances of an increase in the state pension age achieving the desired objectives and boosting UK productivity rest on the willingness and ability of employers to adapt their employment practices to engage older workers more fully, to motivate them, and to reduce their desire to retire early,” said Brown.