Over 50s may have to work an extra 11 years to afford retirement
Millions of older workers may have to work well into their late 70s in order to live comfortably in retirement, new research from the Pension Policy Institute (PPI) has found.
45 per cent of today's over 50s may be faced with working and saving for an additional 11 years past their state pension age in order to continue the standard of living they are accustomed to, while a further five per cent will have to work for at least another six years.
According to the research, the vast majority (85 per cent) of over 50s working in 2011 might achieve a 'minimum acceptable' standard of living in retirement of £11,000 per year - £211 a week or £303 for a couple.
However, Niki Cleal, director of the PPI, warned that for many people 'a retirement income at this amount would unlikely be considered adequate.'
"This demonstrates that many people need to start saving more today, if they want to avoid having to work much longer than they planned and want to have an adequate retirement income in the future," she added.
Over the last three decades life expectancy has increased substantially due to changes in lifestyle, diet and healthcare, with the average life expectancy for men rising from 79 in 1981 to 86 in 2011. This poses many challenges to individuals who will have to work and save longer, but also for employers who contribute to pension schemes, and the Government that provides the state pension.
Britain currently has the largest 'pensions gap' in Europe, according to The Telegraph, defined as the difference between the income needed to retire comfortably and the pensions which Britons are on target to receive.
The research follows trends in recent decades that have seen the proportion of older people in employment rise - around 70 per cent of the UK's over 50s are still in employment. While many may choose to remain in the workplace because they enjoy their work, others are forced to do so because they cannot financially afford to retire.
Commenting on the PPI's report, Michelle Mitchell, director general of Age UK, said that lower annuity rates were also to blame for a falling income in retirement.
"The government must work to encourage employers to hire and retain older workers, and to provide training for those who need it if we are to avoid creating future generations of people in later life struggling to make ends meet," she said.
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