A fifth of employees do not expect to retire

One in five (20%) non-retired respondents think they will never retire, according to a report by the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

Its Identifying the challenges of a changing world report found that, of those who do believe they will retire, 41% think they will continue to work on at least a part time basis.

The report, which analysed the challenges facing the UK insurance industry and society, also found that respondents are financially unprepared for the future.

More than half (51%) felt they or their family would struggle if they were seriously injured, diagnosed with serious illness or if the main breadwinner were to die. Yet more than half (57%) do not have life, critical illness or income protection insurance.

Two-thirds (66%) of respondents said they would struggle to pay for long-term care costs, while 50% were unaware of any current state help for possible long-term care costs in old age.

The majority of respondents believe the government should have primary responsibility for paying living costs if someone loses their job (52%), becomes ill and is unable to work for longer than a month (65%) or suffers a serious injury and is unable to work again (80%).

The report also identified seven over-arching trends most relevant to insurers:

  • The digital revolution and the impact of the social media.
  • Global convergence, with an increasingly inter-connected and balanced global economy.
  • The development and recovery of Western economies after the financial crisis.
  • Global ageing.
  • Political challenges, with a more proactive and visible industry approach to public policy than previously.
  • Interventionist regulation.
  • The continued impact of climate change.

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Otto Thoresen (pictured), director general at the ABI, said: “Our report marks the start of a debate in the industry and with other stakeholders about what action is needed to cope with, and take advantage of, the huge changes we all face.

“The rules of day-to-day life are being rewritten, and insurance has a key role to play in tackling many of the issues that matter for society. Insurance provides cover against risks inherent in all aspects of life, from safeguarding our homes and businesses, protecting against illness and death, to providing income in retirement.”