Retirement Income Alliance

Should we carry on working?

by Malcolm Booth, Chief Executive Officer of NFOP (www.nfop.org.uk) 27 April 2016

Some think tanks are suggesting that continuing to work is harming younger employees by blocking promotions, as a result they also receive smaller salaries.

This is perhaps an unforeseen consequence of removing the compulsory retirement age of 65, something that NFOP supported and continues to support. The financial crisis decimated many individuals' pension funds and the resultant economic measures forced down annuity rates, a double whammy for those planning to retire. As a result not being able to retire became a reality for some.

The new environment creates a number of dilemmas. For the employer, continuity planning is difficult and raising the issue of retirement fraught with dangers. For the employee, is retirement financially feasible? Is there reluctance to discuss the issue with the employer for fear of prompting action by them?

Perhaps the challenge is how to create new working models that allow older members of staff to continue to work and pass on their knowledge, helping develop the skills of the next generation; in turn, the next generation feel more valued and experience greater responsibility and rewards.

The changing pensions environment combined with a move to portfolio lifestyles, being a mixture of work, volunteering and leisure, has led to more people wanting to ‘transition’ from work to retirement rather than take the cliff-edge approach of full time work today, full retirement tomorrow. What may surprise many is that they have transferable skills that organisations and charities would welcome.

RIA provides an opportunity for employers to provide a service to their workforce and tools to encourage them to look at retirement and hopefully, in turn, prompt a dialogue around retirement options.