Retirement is set to become a thing of the past as many people are expected
to have to work into their mid-70s
Britain’s rapidly ageing workforce and the decline in company pension
schemes will mean workers staying in employment longer as they are forced to
put off their retirement, a study has shown.
Occupational health departments are likely to be closely involved in how
employers react to the changing demographics of the working population,
according to private health insurer Bupa.
By 2020, it estimates more than one in four UK workers will be over pensionable
age and pensions shortfalls and fewer younger people will mean many more people
will find they have to work into their mid-70s.
Yet a study by KPMG of 2,000 employers and employees found 60 per cent of
employees said they would like to retire by the age of 65 and 11 per cent under
34 said they wanted to retire before 55.
The vast majority of employees – 73 per cent – said they would be unhappy
about working until 70.
Dr Jenny Leeser, clinical director of occupational health at the private insurer,
predicted there would need to be a greater focus on mental health and wellbeing
services within OH departments to respond to the needs of an ageing workforce.
While most employers said they did not encourage managers to be aware of the
mental state of their workers, 44 per cent admitted their employees suffered
unacceptable levels of stress.
General fitness programmes could also become more commonplace.
"There would probably need to be more designing of jobs and training
programmes to accommodate their requirements," she added, with OH
departments working closely with their colleagues in training.