Nearly a third of Gen X lack confidence in ability to work long enough to fund retirement

Almost a third (31 per cent) of people born between 1965 and 1980 do not feel confident that they will able to work for as long as they need to fund their retirement needs, research has shown.

The study, produced by the International Longevity Centre (ILC) and supported by Standard Life, found that those in ‘Generation X’ were concerned that poor physical health (59 per cent), poor mental health (31 per cent) and age discrimination (31 per cent) could prevent them from working in later life.

More than half (57 per cent) said they wanted to save more for retirement but were struggling to do so, with a quarter (25 per cent) planning to work part time after they reach state pension age and 17 per cent planning to work full time to plug an expected income shortfall in retirement.

Nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) of those in Generation X and planning to work past state pension age were confident that they would be able to do so.

However, the report warned that this may not always be possible, as a quarter (25 per cent) of that group already have a health problem or disability and 7 per cent expected to need to provide care to an adult in the next five years.

“With nearly four in 10 Gen Xers relying on working for longer to plug an income shortfall in retirement, it’s vital that we support them to do so,” commented ILC research fellow and report author, Sophie Dimitriadis.

“Providing more support to workers in poor health will likely make the biggest difference – followed by tackling age discrimination.

“Policymakers need to make all jobs flexible by default so that employees can alter their work patterns to suit their needs (including health needs) and increase the awareness and use of Government Access to Work funds among workers with acquired disabilities.

“Government can also make it easier for employees to challenge age discrimination at work by allowing tribunals to consider cases of multiple types of discrimination. Finally, policymakers need to offer workers aged 40+ targeted back-to-work support to ensure they aren’t left behind during the pandemic."

Standard Life CEO, Andy Curran, added: “Many Gen Xers feel they’ll never retire and expect to continue working to have an income in later life. Others want to work but fear discrimination or face health barriers. With many Gen Xers facing a challenging financial future, we believe that society and employers need to wake-up to the talent and experience of Gen X, and do more to support them.

“Gen Xers bring a wealth of diversity and expertise to the workforce and they should be celebrated and accommodated, not marginalised or face poverty in their later years.

“Flexible working and lifelong learning can help employees continue to stay in the workforce and save for longer while access to financial learning and wellbeing programmes can also help ensure everyone is equipped with the knowledge they need for later in life.”

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