British Attitudes Survey reveals hopes of older workers in Britain

British Social Attitudes survey data published this week provides an invaluable insight into the needs, hopes and expectations of older workers in Britain. 

The results show us that:

  • Respondents expect to work for longer -   – 65% of employee respondents expected to retire in their 60s, and 17% in their 70s.  This compares to less than 50% of people currently working between 60-64.  
  • Flexible working, part time work, retraining and reskilling would all have a significant impact in encouraging respondents to work longer. 


Top findings from the report:

The survey found that respondents expect to retire later – 65% of employee respondents expected to retire in their 60s, and 17% in their 70s.  In 2015, the employment rate for people 60-64 was less than 50% - the future workforce expects to be able to work longer than is currently possible for today’s older workers. 

Of people who expected to retire early, 36% said it was because they wanted to, 26% because they could afford to.  7% don’t expect their employer to allow them to work longer. 

Of the respondents who were already retired, 11% retired because of their employer’s policy on retirement age, and 11% because they lost their job.  These are people who could have stayed in the workforce longer.  8% said they retired to care for someone else, and 20% because of their own ill-health.  


What would encourage people to work longer ?Three-quarters of respondents chose an option that would encourage them to work longer.  Changes in hours and work patterns are most popular, with skills and retraining also chosen by a significant minority of respondents – retraining and learning was more popular for those in lower income brackets.