One-third of early retirees want back into work

One-third of the adults in the UK to have been forced into an early retirement have indicated they would like to be back in work, according to a new study by Just Group.

The retirement specialist found that 64% of over-55s who retired early were forced out of the labour market due to circumstances beyond their control – either because of redundancy, ill health or to provide care for a family member.

Just Group revealed, however, that 33% of these people would now like to be back in work – indicating they would like to extend their careers or need the incomes to support their finances as they enter retirement.

Just Group’s research was conducted by Opinium through a survey of 1,607 retired or semi-retired UK residents above the age of 55 years.

“Retirement marks a huge step in every person’s life journey, and many do not feel ready or cannot afford to stop working even as they approach the State Pension Age,” group communications director at Just Group, Stephen Lowe, commented.

“Unavoidable circumstances forcing people out of employment at a later age can lead to a difficult transition into retirement. Many over-55s will still need the regular income that a job provides until they are ready to retire, so the loss of this income can be a hammer blow for people’s financial plans.”

Just Group’s research also showed that 64% of the over-55s to have been forced out of work but would still like to be working did not think they would be able to get back into the workforce – compared to only 14% who were confident they could find employment.

Just Group’s research also highlighted data published last month by the Office for National Statistics, which showed the number of workers aged between 50 and 64 on zero-hours contracts had grown 93% between 2013 and 2017 – by far the fastest growth in any age group.

Lowe added: “This is a worrying trend if the necessity to find some sort of income is forcing many involuntary retirees to accept zero-hours contracts which are typically more likely to lack employment benefits such as access to pensions, sick pay or paid holidays.

“People forced to retire early and facing a labour market lock-out may face a serious financial gap that needs filling. It’s worse for those over 55 who may feel they have little choice but to dip into their pension early to cover essential spending, but this can cause more problems in later life when they face full-time retirement with a depleted pension pot.”

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