Hitting rock bottom - the bottom of the Grand Canyon

Hitting rock bottom – the bottom of the Grand Canyon

Almost one in four UK workers say they expect to work past the age of 65 as a result of low interest rates, according to research by Canada Life Group Insurance. This is equivalent to 7.2 million UK employees[1], with poor returns on savings taking its toll on the nation’s retirement plans.

Overall, 23 percent of employees have seen their retirement plans affected by low savings rates since the 0.5 percent Bank of England base rate was introduced seven years ago. This includes 8 percent who did not want to work beyond 65 but have now resigned themselves to doing so, and 16 percent[2] who had contemplated working past 65 but now believe low interest rates will probably push them to do so.


Overall, two thirds of UK employees expect to work beyond the traditional retirement age of 65. This continues to climb as the reality of a rising State Pensions Age and the abolition of the default retirement age in 2012 becomes clear (2015 – 61 percent; 2012 – 35 percent)[3].

Younger generations fare particularly badly: 85 percent of those aged 21-30 believe they will have to work beyond the age of 65. This is in stark contrast to those soon to retire, with just 58 percent of 61-65 year-olds saying they are likely to work beyond the traditional retirement age.

Pension savings

Financial pressures are the main factors people cite as the reason they’ll have to work beyond the traditional retirement age. More than two in five employees say their pension pot is not sufficient to retire at 65, up from 32 percent who said the same in 2015.

The proportion who believe they will have to carry on working because they have not prepared enough has also increased, almost doubling year-on-year. A lack of state support is also noted: the number who say they will not be able to rely on a state pension has increased from 14 percent in 2015 to 18 percent in 2016.

However almost two in five (38 percent) say job enjoyment is the reason they would like to work for as long as possible into retirement.

Pensions reforms announced in the 2014 Budget have increased awareness of planning for retirement. One in five employees found that since reviewing their savings after the freedoms were announced, they will have to work longer than they thought, highlighting the importance of planning ahead.

[1] Calculated using ONS UK Labour Market Survey, February 2016 (23 percent of 31.42million full and part-time workers)

[2] Percentages do not add up due to rounding

[3] Canada Life Group Insurance research 2012 and 2015





 | Website

Robert joined the HRreview editorial team in October 2015. After graduating from the University of Salford in 2009 with a BA in Politics, Robert has spent several years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past he has been part of editorial teams at Flux Magazine, Mondo*Arc Magazine and The Marine Professional.