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Why Retire? The Positives and Negatives of Working into Retirement

There are 1,100,000 workers in employment over the age of 65 in the UK, and the number’s increasing. Every month an extra 5,000 over-65s are in employment. A lack of savings and the cost of living is something that keeps many people working longer than they would choose to.

With the number of people over the age of 70 working in the UK doubling over the past decade, what is it making us want to work later in life and what can we do if we don’t want to retire?

The age demographic has changed substantially in recent times, with improved standards of living. Men in the UK live for 79.5 years on average, with women living to an average of 83.3 years. So it is clear that the UK workforce is now more capable of working later into our older years, but what motivates people to continue working?

Positives of Working into Retirement

According to a study from the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions), nearly 75% of working women aged 55 – 75 describe their health as good, meanwhile less than 50% of retired women aged 55-75 would describe their health as good.

Working is good for people of retirement age from a social perspective. Service company Saga found that 88% of the workers they surveyed who stayed on past retirement age liked their jobs and interacting with colleagues.

Negatives of Working into Retirement

Those who choose to work into retirement face prejudices and in some circumstances, direct discrimination.

Direct discrimination, where you have been treated less favourably because of your age, is unlawful if an employer is unable to justify the treatment. Direct discrimination includes stereotyping older workers because of age. So if you’ve been fired for being less productive or tech-savvy without any evidence proving this to be the truth, you might have a case for age discrimination.

Retirement age is when an employee chooses to retire. Unless your employer can justify setting a compulsory retirement age it is up to you when you retire so long as you are able to continue working. You should not be discriminated against if you choose to work longer.

Slater and Gordon’s specialist team of age discrimination solicitors provide legal advice on employment law issues. We are skilled in advising how to best resolve employment problems such as age discrimination in the workplace. Call us on freephone 0800 916 9060 or contact us online to see what we can do to help you.

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