The fun has just begun
July 15, 2009 Leave a comment
This week has already seen two very major announcements relating to the older end of the age spectrum and it’s only Wednesday. Firstly, there has been the news that the government is bringing forward its review of the national default retirement age, currently 65, which heralds either its demise or a significant shift upwards. Secondly, there has been the publication of a Green Paper on the subject of care costs which is likely to impact on the whole population and probably require significant financial input from us all.
We are now, quite definitely, going to see a significant shift in the need for everyone – employers, employees and society at large – to think through the implications of these issues and to plan individually and collectively for all of our futures. We will now, each of us, have to make decisions about our attitude to retirement versus continued employment which will include our finances, our motivation and commitment, and our physical and mental ability to continue on.
These announcements come at a time when two new surveys suggest all is not as it should be and certainly there is a glaring inconsistency and incompatibility which will have to be addressed. A survey for insurer LV= suggests that the over 50s are struggling to save and that nearly 7 out of 10 are worried about their retirement prospects. In reinforcing this Scottish Widows also tell us that, from their survey, the average age that people wish to retire is 61 and that, on average, they would actually be angry if they had to work past 66. Something does not stack up here – even without thinking about the social benefits of continuing to be part of the employment mainstream.
Employer body reaction to the proposed review of the default retirement age is predictably one of hostility (feigned or real) but the reality of the situation will not change. What is required, sooner rather than later, is the need for all sides to start seriously to manage the implications which, when all is said and done, will be immensely positive for all concerned.
Even King Canute could not stop this one.