More support needed for older workers

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Age Scotland has said the government and businesses have to do more to support the increasing numbers of people work beyond state pension age

29th May 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

The amount of older people working beyond retirement age has almost doubled in the last decade.

And charity Age Scotland has said that businesses and politicians have to do more to support those who choose to work past the state pension age.

Figures released by the Scottish Government show that 84,700 people aged 65 years and over were in employment in Scotland in 2017, almost twice as many as ten years ago.

More than half (55.8%) said they had not retired because they were not ready to stop working.

However, one in four cited financial reasons, including boosting their pension pot and paying for essential or desirable items.

This follows research from Age Scotland which found that 43% of Scots aged 40-64 – more than 786,000 people – say they will not have enough money to retire when they reach State Pension age.

Scots are increasingly planning to continue to work into their late 60s and beyond, with 45% saying they would do so to afford their desired lifestyle in retirement, according to YouGov research for the charity.

Despite the increasing number of older workers, age discrimination continues to be an issue. One in four workers over 40 (24%) said they felt disadvantaged or treated negatively when at work or applying for jobs past the age of 40.

Age Scotland is calling for government action to help people plan their later working lives and explore how they can put enough money aside for the future while there’s still time to make a difference.

The charity is also urging more employers to commit to becoming age-inclusive workplaces. Only one in five businesses currently has an age strategy in place. This type of strategy should include proactively addressing age bias, training managers on age-related issues, supporting carers and those with health issues, and providing access to flexible working.

Brian Sloan, chief executive of Age Scotland ,said: “As we live longer and the state pension age rises, working longer is becoming part of life. Many Scots don’t feel ready to retire at the age of 65 and choose to continue because they enjoy the social side or want to share their skills.

“However, it’s worrying that an increasing number of older Scots feel they have to continue working due to money concerns.”

The charity has repeated its calls for all Scots to be offered a career MOT aged 50, to help them make informed choices about training, pension provision and future career options.