Research reveals many workers’ unrealistic retirement expectations

Only 15% of UK workers plan to work beyond the current state pension age of 65, according to research.

Half of workers (52%) plan to retire before the age of 65, the study by Aon Consulting showed, with the average planned retirement age falling just under 63 years for men and just over 62 for women.

Half of the 1,200 workers surveyed (51%) cited health issues and the ability to carry out the job as the main factor in determining their retirement age. Just over one-third (35%) said it would depend on how much they have in their pension fund, and almost one in five (19%) said their retirement age would be determined by their spouse or partner’s retirement age.

Women were more likely to cite their partner’s pension as a deciding factor, with one-quarter (24%) saying their partner’s pensions plans would affect their retirement plans.

Only 14% said government policy, which plans to raise the state retirement age to 68 by 2046, had a bearing on their decision and one in 10 (12%) cited their employers’ policies.

Paul Macro, head of defined contribution at Aon Consulting, said: “This seems to show that many people view retirement as a right – regardless of whether they can afford to retire – and we must assume that they believe the state will bail them out.

“The government’s plans to raise the state pension age to 68 by 2046 certainly doesn’t look like it has been taken on board by most people. The government needs to work harder at encouraging people to accept the idea of later retirement based on affordability, otherwise we could face a huge problem in the UK.”

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