Recession will lead to delayed retirement, workers believe

Britons believe they will have to work an extra six years and delay their retirement plans as a result of the recession.

Workers are rethinking their retirement due to heavy falls in defined contribution pension assets, according to Aon Consulting.

The employee risk and benefits management firm surveyed more than 4,000 workers in its Employee Omnibus Survey. It found nearly two-thirds believed the recession would delay their retirement plans. Of these, one in five envisaged having to work a further six to nine years.

According to Aon, an older workforce will have serious knock-on effects for employers, including increased costs from salaries, training, pensions and other benefits such as health insurance and wellness programmes.

However, the firm added that non-financial benefits of retaining older employees such as retained knowledge and experience might far outweigh financial costs.

Richard Strachan, a senior consultant at Aon, said: “There has to be a real discussion in this country about the value older workers bring to the economy, and a shift in the thinking that we have to retire at a certain pre-conceived age.

“Already governments around the world are shifting the retirement age to later in life to reflect increasing levels of longevity, but employers need to match this with a positive attitude to workers older than the current retirement age.”

A High Court decision on whether the UK’s default retirement age of 65 is legal is expected imminently.

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