Over half reach SPA with physical limitation – PPI

More than half (52 per cent) of people reach state pension age (SPA) with at least one physical limitation, the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) has revealed.

The PPI said that this means those affected are less likely to experience an ‘independent phase’ of retirement, which is associated with better outcomes in later life.

Commenting on the report, PPI senior policy researcher, Lauren Wilkinson, said: “In order to improve later life experiences, older people are likely to need additional support to remain independent for as long as possible.”

The research found that, despite longer life expectancies, women are more likely to have physical limitations in retirement and are more likely to be providing care to family members, reducing their freedom in later life.

Furthermore, there are discrepancies between different levels of wealth when it comes to physical health later in life.

The PPI found that, by the age of 70, more than half of those in the lowest wealth quintile had at least one ‘severe’ physical limitation, compared to just 16 per cent of people in the highest wealth quintile.

It said that individuals with lower levels of wealth are more likely to feel pressure to continue working pre-retirement after they have developed a limitation, further widening the divide.

The report added: “Once coping with physical limitations, those in lower wealth quintiles are likely to need more support if they are to avoid having particularly poor later life experiences, as many of the risk factors associated with social exclusion are also associated with having lower levels of wealth.”

Wilkinson concluded: “When considering people who are experiencing physical limitations before retirement, particularly those with lower levels of wealth, this could mean interventions at younger ages are required to support them in healthy ageing and planning for the experiences and transitions they may face in later life.”

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