Executive Summary / Introduction
This report is a call for action. It is the third in the Missing Million report series produced in partnership with the International Longevity Centre (ILC-UK), and sets out practical recommendations for business and government to address the pressing issue of age at work.
Why it Matters
Our population is ageing. Currently, 10 million people in the UK are over 65 years old and this number is projected to nearly double, to around 19 million, by 2050. The first person who will live to 150 has already been born. As we all live longer and healthier lives, we will also need to work for longer to pay towards our pensions, health and social care in older age. The changes that come with population ageing will leave some groups at a particular disadvantage – including the low paid, with few pension savings, and manual workers whose job is harder to do as they age. Not only do we have the missing million people who have been forced out of work before retirement age, but we also have 1.1 million people who are currently
working beyond state pension age. They are the second missing million – widely ignored in policy making and public discourse, yet vital as they set the precedent for the future model of working lives.
The need to develop a long-term strategic approach to recruiting and retaining older workers is crucially important for businesses. In particular, industries with a higher proportion of workers aged over 50 – including public administration, education and health, agriculture, forestry and fishing – will need to adapt their practices quickly to ensure they can retain and recruit the older workers who are fundamental to their workforce.