Two in five over-50s expect ill-health to force them out of work

Four million UK workers aged over 50 expect poor health and health problems to be the main reasons they stop working, research has suggested.

A poll by insurer Aviva found two in five (37%) felt their job could be detrimental to their health and wellbeing, and more than half (53%) did not feel supported by their employer when it comes to their wellbeing.

The four million figure comes from an of 37% of the estimated 10.21 million over-50s currently in work. The survey of 2,497 UK adults aged 16-75 included 1,219 over-50s, 520 of whom were still in work.

Work pressures were one of the greatest strains on respondents’ physical and mental health (21%), alongside money issues (35%) and pre-existing medical conditions (24%).

More than half (53%) of those aged 50+ said they did not feel supported by their employer when it came to their wellbeing, a feeling that is much less prevalent among younger colleagues (falling to 34% of workers aged 16-49).

One in five (21%) agreed employers should offer workshops or seminars on health and wellbeing in later life.

Greater communication was also needed, as more than a quarter (27%) of those surveyed did not feel comfortable telling their employer about any health issues they face as they grow older.

Almost two in five (37%) over-50s’ workers admitted they often put their job above their health and wellbeing.

Lindsey Rix, managing director, savings and retirement at Aviva, said: “Greater clarity and support for health and wellbeing in the workplace will prevent employees, especially those closer to retirement, from having to retire prematurely and avoid a drain of valuable skills and talent.”

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