Over-50s ‘Will Retrain To Carry On Working In Retirement’

metlife-logoNearly two-thirds of over-50s workers would consider retraining so they could work longer in retirement, research from MetLife shows.

Its study found 63% of over-50s are looking at potentially lengthening their working lives with 50% considering learning new skills to continue in full or part-time employment while 13% would look to retrain so they could launch their own business.

Traditional working patterns in later life are changing dramatically. The research among all adults shows around 71% of all workers say they would consider working after current traditional retirement ages with just one in three (31%) expecting to retire completely from full-time work.

The decision to work past traditional retirement ages is not entirely financially-driven with 23% of over-50s saying they enjoy working and don’t feel ready to retire while a further 30% would miss the social interaction that work provides and 29% say they feel that work gives them a sense of purpose.

However the study found 55% of working over-50s admit they are not financially well-prepared for retirement.

The change in working patterns was highlighted in an independent report, sponsored by MetLife, from Dr Ros Altmann CBE “Flexibility in Retirement – Planning for change”. The report by Dr Altmann, now the Government’s Business Champion for Older Workers, highlighted the tremendous opportunity of how the change in working patterns can dovetail with pensions planning, flexible approaches, new products and more creative methods of funding retirement.

Dominic Grinstead, Managing Director, MetLife UK, said: “It is striking that many over-50s are considering retraining to become more flexible at work just as pensions are being changed to be more flexible.

The numbers contemplating working in retirement – whether it’s full-time or part-time – shows that as the retirement landscape changes and people prefer to phase retirement, flexible income solutions will be needed to enable people to make the best possible use of pension freedoms.

Many savers will need certainty about future income and capital, so providers will have to develop solutions offering flexibility combined with increasing use of income or capital guarantees.”

MetLife has supported the Budget pension overhaul by lowering its minimum initial investment to £30,000 to enable more customers to benefit from flexibility and certainty ahead of the new rules due in April 2015. From April 2015 customers will be able to take income when they want in line with planned legislation.