Happy retirement is a moving target

MARK CLINTON, DIRECTOR, MD PENSION SOLUTIONS

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It pains me to say this but in the past decade most pensions have not proved to be as good an investment as consumers believed they would be.

Inevitably, this has led to individuals having to work longer to supplement or delay their pensions to achieve their retirement goals.

In fact, the UK’s impending pensions crisis has prompted the Equality and Human Rights Commission to launch a set of proposals for fundamental changes to employment policies.

These would allow millions of older people to lengthen their working lives by scrapping the compulsory retirement age of 65.

The economy is being cited as the potential big winner from the EHRC’s policy, with the National Institute of Economic and Social Research saying that extending working lives by 18 months would inject £15bn into the economy.

The proposals, which aim to open up more work opportunities for older Brits, also include extending the right to request flexible working to all and improved training.

And they coincide with research which shows that 24% of men and 64% of women plan to continue working beyond the state pension age – currently 60 for women and 65 for men. It will rise to 65 for women by 2020.

As with all financial matters consumers must take some responsibility but it’s also fair to say that the government and the pensions industry must do better in terms of education to help older workers reach their retirement goals.