Millions retiring early despite record over 50s employment

Around 3.6 million people in the UK aged over 65 have had to retire due to circumstances outside of their control, such as illness or redundancy, according to new figures from Just Group.

This is despite record numbers of over 50s being in work, due in part to an ageing population and an increase in the state pension age.

Additionally, nearly six in 10 workers who retired between the ages of 50-65 said that this was earlier than they had expected to retire and were forced to by events outside of their control.

The most common reason for an unexpected early retirement was illness (25 per cent), followed by redundancy (21 per cent) and becoming a carer for a family member (10 per cent).

Just Group’s research also found that only 26 per cent of those how retired early because they had enough pension or savings that gave that enough financial security to retire.

Commenting on the findings, Just Group group communications director, Stephen Lowe said: “Our research shows that for many the dream of early retirement may actually be more of a nightmare.

“Ill-health can strike at any time and becomes more likely the older we are, while redundancies are a difficult point in many people’s working careers.”

Just Group also revealed that twice as many women (13 per cent) were forced into an early retirement to care for a family members compared to men (6 per cent).

Furthermore, women were one third more likely to retire early due to illness and just one in five women were able to retire due to being in a secure financial state.

Lowe continued: “The findings highlight the strain that providing care for family members can place upon households who are either entering residential care or require some other form of professional help – with the result that many people are forced into giving up their own jobs or careers early to provide the necessary support.

“This is why it is vital that people do make financial plans as early as possible ahead of retirement and are aware of their options. It means they should be in a better position to manage any nasty shocks and mitigate the impact on their life and loved ones.”

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