This week has seen the Department for Work and Pensions reveal its new strategy for encouraging people over 50 to stay in employment. The issue has been one that the government has prioritised, with Andy Briggs being appointed to the new position of business champion for older workers.
The statistics indicate that they 2035, over half of the UK population will be over 50 which is why work is being done now to prepare for this eventuality. Its strategy paper, Fuller Working Lives states that its aims are to "…boost the number of older workers and ensure they are not writing people off once they reach a certain age, helping to build a country that works for everyone".
It comes as there are already successful schemes that have been implemented that have resulted in a more flexible approach to retirement. These include the new state pension and pension freedoms, which all people to save or invest their pension pot as they wish, instead of being restricted to annuities as they were before.
The new strategy aims to provide more support for older workers by not just using job centres but by encouraging businesses to be more supportive too.
In a statement, Damian Green, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said: "Most people are healthier for longer and so are able to extend their careers and take up new opportunities. Staying in work for a few more years can make a significant difference not only to someone's income but also their physical and mental health."
"I urge all businesses to reassess the value of older workers. Nobody should write off hiring someone due to their age and it's unacceptable that some older people are overlooked for roles they would suit completely. "
Whilst many people may choose to go on working into their 70s and beyond, many people may have to thanks to a lack of saving for retirement. Although the government has tried to counter this with the introduction of auto enrolment which has been a huge success, it will take some years for this to filter through.