Age UK uses benefits to extend working lives

EXCLUSIVE: Age UK has launched a programme to help its employees extend their working lives, better prepare for retirement and boost their health and wellbeing in the workplace.


The charity’s Extending working life and planning for retirement proposition is part of its 2015 strategy to offer a range of activities for its 2,800 employees.

The programme comprises five elements to the programme:

  • Extending working life and planning for retirement proposition and policy.
  • Feeling well: health and wellbeing.
  • Volunteering opportunities.
  • Financial planning and pensions.
  • Learning and development opportunities. 

Age UK launched the programme to enable as many as employees as possible to enjoy later life and at the same time work longer. More than half of its workforce is aged 50 or over. 

The organisation has positioned its benefits to complement the programme, including as its pension scheme, flexible-working arrangements, caring arrangements,  retirement and financial planning seminars, pension briefings and clinics, mid-life reviews and peer group sessions.

Some 85% of employees that attended Age UK’s pension briefings rated them ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’.

It has also created an employee resources pack to communicate the benefits to staff.

Caroline Bendelow, people and performance director at Age UK, said: “We have worked hard to develop what we believe is an exciting proposition to staff that is aligned to their health and wellbeing.

“There is external and internal alignment within the organisation and if employees are signed up to the Age UK’s cause, they are more likely to feel engaged in the workplace and with what we are doing for them, especially this new resources pack and the benefits we offer.

“These new activities are intended to highlight existing benefits and policies such as flexible-working [arrangements], as well as new opportunities such as the mid-life review peer learning groups.”

Link to health and wellbeing

The financial planning resources are also positoned as part of Age UK’s employee wellbeing strategy. 

It also offers employees a health cash plan, provided by Bupa, alongside health assessments, wellbeing days and benefits such as a bikes-for-work scheme.

The organisation also has a strong focus on mental health, offering staff mindfulness workshops, a personal and management resilience programme and a mental health programme.

Bendelow said: “All of our benefits are linked to health and wellbeing. It is very much a holistic approach and the new scheme builds into that.

“The wellbeing benefits have been designed to be age friendly but in the programme we have highlighted benefits that might be of interest to support emplopyees in extending their working life.”

Age UK is shortlisted for ‘Best healthcare and wellbeing benefits – large employer’ at the Employee Benefits Awards 2015.