Employee health has biggest influence on retirement age

More than half (51%) of employees believe the age at which they retire will depend on their health and ability to do their job.

Just over a third (35%) say that their retirement age will be governed by the amount they have in their pension scheme, according to the Pension omnibus survey by Aon Consulting. Other factors include: being influenced by government policy (14%), their employer’s decision (12%), and the plans of their spouse or partner (19%).

More than half (52%) of UK workers also plan to retire before they reach the current state retirement age of 65 years. Just 15% of employees intend to work beyond the state pension age, while the average planned retirement age stands at around 63 years – 63.1 years†for men and 62.1 years for women – significantly earlier than 68 years, the age to which the government plans to raise the state retirement age by 2046.

When questioned about their feelings towards working beyond the state retirement age, 53% said they would carry on working beyond this age to increase their pension if they needed to but 22% were adamant they would not work beyond 65 years.

Geographically, Newcastle had the lowest number of respondents intending to retire before 65 years, with 52% saying that they planned to do so, while the 59% of respondents who intend to in Manchester make this the most likely place for staff to retire before 65 years in the UK.

Paul Macro, head of defined contribution at Aon Consulting, said: "The survey illustrates the rude awakening facing many people on retirement. While most would like to choose when they retire based on [their] ability to do the job, few will have built up enough funds to allow them to retire comfortably at 65 [years] and certainly not any younger. The expectation gap between desires and reality is shown by the quarter of people refusing to work beyond the official retirement age, even if they haven’t got enough to retire on."