Half of over 50s prefer gradual transition into retirement

Nearly half (49 per cent) of UK workers over 50 who are earning more than £20,000 would prefer to gradually transition into retirement by blending work and retirement, a survey by Aegon has found.

These workers favour a phase of ‘pre-tirement’ by adjusting the amount of time they work before they give up work altogether, rather than the traditional approach.

Aegon’s research also found that 70 per cent of those who would prefer a gradual retirement would want to cut down the number of days they work each week, while 44 per cent would like to reduce the number of hours they worked each day.

Furthermore, 33 per cent said that they wanted more flexible working arrangements and a fifth were looking for more holiday entitlements while remaining in employment.

Commenting on the findings, Aegon pensions director, Steven Cameron said: “The concept of retirement is changing from traditional to transitional. As people enjoy longer life spans, they no longer yearn to down tools and start retirement in one fell swoop.

“Over 50s in the UK see the appeal of gently easing off the amount of time they work or altering their working pattern.

“Many see this as having the best of all worlds, benefitting mentally and socially from work, as well as continuing to receive an income, while simultaneously enjoying more leisure time.”

The survey found that a transitional approach was embraced consistently across all income bands and in 11 out of 12 areas in the UK, with the only exception being the north east of England, where only 34 per cent preferred a transitional approach.

The traditional retirement approach, where workers go from their usual work pattern to full retirement in one go, is now favoured by less than a third (31 per cent) of workers aged 50 and above.

Cameron concluded: “Our research shatters the concept that retirement is a single day event. Time has run out for ‘carriage clock’ retirements.

“Those approaching retirement want a fluid transition, and it’s not only the individuals who’ll benefit. Enabling individuals to remain economically active into later life is also good for employers and the broader economy.”

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