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interactive investor: Is ’50 PLUS: Choices’ a euphemism for the death of retirement?

interactive investor’s Becky O’Connor comments on government figures on people aged 50+ in work.

Becky O’Connor, Head of Pensions and Savings, interactive investor, the DIY pension platform, said:

“The Government has renamed the ‘Fuller Working Lives’ agenda to become ’50 PLUS: Choices’, which still feels like a euphemism for the death of retirement.

“Working in later life, particularly past state pension entitlement age, is more often likely to be a necessity rather than a choice. Although many people do like working if they are fit, well and have no other caring responsibilities, others would much rather be easing back and focusing on enjoying their later years.

“Covid has meant that many older workers who need income from employment have less money coming in. As well as affecting their current living standards, this will also affect their ability to continue to put money aside for eventual retirement.

“The hope is that this Covid-related trend will reverse, however that depends on employers re-hiring older workers. But it can be difficult to successfully apply for certain jobs once you reach a certain age.

“It’s really important that older people who both want to and can work have access to jobs, particularly as the state pension entitlement age has risen and so too will the minimum pension age in the coming years.

“It’s also important that those who cannot work, perhaps through health or caring needs, are able to keep their heads above water.

“Pensions are designed to get people through retirement – they might not be enough, after they become accessible in someone’s mid-fifties, to meet financial needs through the end of their working life, too.

If older people who have lost jobs are now using some of their pensions instead, this could spell trouble further down the line, when they are trying to make their pot last. This makes it even more vital that people have access to information and products that helps them both build their pension through working life and preserve their pension through retirement.

“This data showing longer working lives comes after the introduction of the Health and Social Care levy – which will also hit older workers. So not only do more people have to work for longer, they have to pay tax for longer, too.”

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