17% of over-50s have access to workplace wellbeing support

Lindsey-Rix

Under one-fifth (17%) of employee respondents aged 50 or over have access to workplace wellbeing initiatives or advice that could mitigate the impact of health issues on their caeers, according to research by Aviva.

Its Real retirement report, which surveyed 3,327 UK adults aged 50 or over, including 1,829 adults who are still working, also found that just 14% of respondents believe their workplace culture is positive towards older employees.

The research also found:

  • 48% of respondents expect to work past the age of 65, 23% plan to work into their 70s, 13% do not expect to ever fully retire, and 41% do not know when they will be able to retire fully.
  • 62% of respondents who know when they expect to retire state that their expected retirement age is older than they thought it would be 10 years ago.
  • 43% of respondents retiring later than planned cite inadequate pension savings as the reason for this, and 32% report that the cost of living means they cannot afford to stop working.
  • 34% of respondents retiring later than planned opt to keep working because they enjoy the mental stimulation of their job, and 27% feel they would be lonely without the social interaction.
  • 19% of respondents believe their employer’s views on older employees limits their future work prospects, and 22% are concerned that their jobs will not suit their needs for as long as they need them to.
  • 47% of respondents view a positive workplace culture as the most valuable form of workplace support for employees over the age of 50, and 33% believe measures such as reduced working hours, part-time hours or job-sharing are important.
  • 55% of respondents are worried that work will become detrimental to their health or that they might not be well enough to keep working, and 13% identify this is an issue that is already affecting them.

Lindsey Rix (pictured), managing director, savings and retirement at Aviva, said: “There is now a clear trend of people working for longer and delaying their retirement. Although some are staying in work out of financial necessity, others want to keep working because they value the mental and social stimulation their job brings.

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“One of the primary concerns people have about working beyond their 50s is the impact this could have on their health or whether any health concerns might prevent them from working. Although it’s hard to predict what the future might bring, having access to health and wellbeing support in the workplace can help minimise the impact health problems have on people’s ability to work. Flexible-working options and reduced responsibilities are also a way of ensuring those with developing health concerns can remain in the workforce.

“Negative employer views towards older [employees] are a real roadblock to over-50s’ careers, and need to be stamped out as quickly as possible. Employers must recognise that over-50s bring with them a wealth of valuable knowledge, skills and experience that would be an asset to any business. [Employees] who feel undervalued at work on the basis of their age should therefore feel safe to speak up and voice their concerns. All older [employees] should have the opportunity to support both their financial and personal wellbeing through work.”