Six in 10 Generation X workers are concerned that poor physical health could prevent them from working in later life.
Research commissioned by the International Longevity Centre (ILC) and pension provider Phoenix Group found that 31% of people born between 1965 and 1980 are not confident they will be able to work for as long as they need in order to fund their retirement.
Physical health is a worry for 59%, while 31% are concerned that their mental health will prevent them from working.
More than a third of the 6,035 Gen X members who took part in the research currently have a health problem or disability. Fifteen per cent of these say their condition limits their ability to work or renders them unable to work.
Other factors that Gen X workers feel would affect their ability to work for as long as they would like included age discrimination restricting their ability to retain or find work (31%), not having the right skills to adapt to a changing jobs market (19%), and the economic impact of the pandemic making it harder to remain in employment (17%).
Sophia Dimitriadis, research fellow at ILC, said: “With nearly four in 10 Gen Xers relying on working for longer to plug an income shortfall in retirement, it’s vital that we support them to do so. Providing more support to workers in poor health will likely make the biggest difference – followed by tackling age discrimination.
Health in mid-life
“Policy-makers need to make all jobs flexible by default so that employees can alter their work patterns to suit their needs, including health needs, and increase the awareness and use of government Access to Work funds among workers with acquired disabilities.”
Andy Curran, CEO at Standard Life, which is part of Phoenix Group, said: “With many Gen Xers facing a challenging financial future, we believe that society and employers need to wake-up to the talent and experience of Gen X, and do more to support them.
“Flexible working and lifelong learning can help employees continue to stay in the workforce and save for longer while access to financial learning and wellbeing programmes can also help ensure everyone is equipped with the knowledge they need for later in life.”