Should You Work Into Your Retirement?


Aug 26, 2014 by British Blog

It is a well-known fact that the UK has an aging population, just like many other developed countries in the world. 

Official estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) claim that in the next few years there will be 700,000 fewer people of working age (those between 16 and 49 years) but 3.7 million more people aged between 50 and state pension age (currently between 61 and 68 years). 

This will undoubtedly change the dynamic of the British workforce with statistics explaining that if every person worked one year longer then GDP would rise 1% and contribute £16 billion to the economy (based on last year’s figures).

While this is a tempting proposition, the decision to work into your retirement is a personal one. For some people, giving up work means saying good-bye to your independence; for others it means embracing it.

How do you know what’s right for you?

No-one can make the decision about working into your retirement for you so it’s important that you weigh up the pros and cons carefully. You may consider a number of factors such as your health, lifestyle, finances and future plans and evaluate whether continuing to work will help or hinder you.

Where health is concerned, it is vital that you are fit to continue in your current employment if planning to work into your retirement. If you’re worried that you may not be able to continue at the same pace of work or fancy an easier lifestyle then you may want to discuss the idea of going part-time with your employer.

This is a great way for them to hold onto valuable staff while also protecting your well-being. 

Can workplaces stop me from working into my retirement?

Workplaces must support you in your decision to work into your retirement – providing you are fit and able to do so. Forcing you to retire or firing you because of your age is an act of workplace discrimination and you may take legal action against it.

When is the right time to retire from work?

Whether you see working into your retirement as a positive step or something you’d rather avoid, the simple fact is that you are the only one who can choose when to retire. Default retirement age has been abolished in the UK and although some workplaces can set their own compulsory retirement ages (providing they can provide solid justification for it) you are now in control of when you give up work.

Only you know when this time is and one should never give up work because they feel pressured to. Only retire when you are ready to and remember that you may choose to change employment, work part-time or even fulfil a voluntary position if you want to remain active but don’t want to continue in your current job or on your current work schedule.