9.5 million fear for health working beyond 65

Roughly 9.5 million people who plan to work past retirement age fear their health will make it too difficult to do so, new research has found.

Of the 23 million (71 per cent) of employees who plane to work past retirement, 41 per cent have health fears, while 27 per cent of employees think their boss views older workers as a “hassle” due to their health struggles.

Employees’ perceptions of their bosses towards older people does not stop there, with 30 per cent thinking their boss perceives them as stuck in their ways and technologically inept.

Canada Life Group Insurance marketing director, Paul Avis, said: “Older workers are an invaluable component of the UK workforce given their extensive industry knowledge and expertise that all colleagues – particularly younger generations – can benefit from.

“They also represent a valuable talent pool for employers as Britain struggles to counter a growing skills shortage. It’s an unfortunate fact of life that health concerns tend to become more frequent as we age and will become more common in the workforce as we live and work for longer.”

Recent figures published by the Office for National Statistics showed that more than half of people aged between 65-69 will be “economically active” by 2067, more than double the 22.45 per cent recorded in 2019.

Despite this, employers recognise the benefits of a diversely aged workforce, with 28 per cent valuing the wide range of skills it brings to the workforce.

Furthermore, 43 per cent of employers’ value the experience, 40 per cent value the loyalty that older workers bring to the workforce.

According to Canada Life, firms risk losing these employees if they do not support employee mental health, such as offering flexible working and appropriate workplace benefits.

“Workers over the age of 65 therefore have a more immediate need for employee benefits that provide both financial and emotional support should they become ill or suffer an injury,” Avis added.

“Employers who want to keep and recruit these valuable workers should offer protection products that have the additional benefit of offering a wide range of support services – from early intervention to employee assistance programmes and second medical opinion services.

“All of these can be used without having to make a claim, adding daily value and proving employers’ commitment to their staff’s health.”

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