Retirement age considerations – the general and the specific
April 15, 2011 Leave a comment
For someone who quite likes numbers it is always pleasing to see how the broader statistics are beginning to reflect outcomes that result from policy changes or from forecasts of what is likely to be inevitable anyway. It is also interesting to see how the macro figures as produced by the ONS stack up with the particular micro surveys that happen to be around at the time.
The recent labour force statistics continue to show an increasing number of over 65s in employment, although this month we have an increase in women but a slight decrease in men. Some of the tabloid press, and others who ought to know better, ascribe this increase to older people taking (stealing?) many of the new jobs coming along. I am not really sure where the evidence to back this up comes from. Intuitively I would suggest that it arises from people continuing in their current jobs and that it reflects financial necessity (particularly for women), a desire to stay connected, and that there are increasing numbers of older people around in general. This trend towards later employment is likely also to become more marked now that the DRA shackles are off.
In a more localised arena, two surveys produced this month, by AXA and by Prudential, look at the likely retirement ages of people. They are different in detail but are similar in what they are looking at and I expect to see more of them appearing as part of a wider education and enlightenment (and, of course, sales pitch). The precise numbers produced are different but are directionally the same. One age is the age at which people hope to retire. This averages at around the 60 mark. One age is the age at which people expect to be able to afford to retire – this falls into the mid-sixty area. And the final one is a computation of when people will actually be able to afford to retire. This one comes out at around 70.
The big task ahead, therefore, is to get the figures to converge – both an individual and a societal challenge. And at what age?
All kinds of interesting conundrums here. Watch this space.