Research to look at impact of people working into older age

Older male electrician at work

A study is to examine the health consequences of the UK population working for longer and into older age, as a separate study has indicated the appetite for working into – and often well beyond – the conventional retirement age is increasing sharply.

The University of Westminster has been awarded a £1.3 million research grant to examine the health risks and benefits associated with working later in life.

The funding has come from Lifelong Health and Wellbeing (LLHW), a cross-council initiative established to meet the challenges and opportunities of an ageing population.

The Extending Working Lives project will provide insight into how to better support longer and healthier working lives that are resilient to the pressures of highly competitive labour markets, the university said.

It will follow 140 individuals from the UK, US and Italy for three years as they make the transition from employment to retirement.

Dr Deborah Smeaton, senior research fellow at the university’s Policy Studies Institute, said: “Through this research, we will get a much clearer understanding of the impact that longer working lives may have for different social groups, and be able to provide information and guidance to individuals, employers, government and other policy makers.”

It comes as separate research has suggested nearly one person in four (23%) planning to retire this year does not feel ready to stop working altogether.

A study by insurer Prudential has found that 13% of those who had been scheduled to retire had chosen to delay their plans because they did not want to give up work just yet.

The main motivation for 57% of this year’s retirees who would consider continuing to work past the traditional retirement age was to keep mentally and physically fit, it added.

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