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Workers still want to retire early

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The government might want to raise the retirement age to 68 but new research reveals that the majority of UK workers still plan to retire before 65.

Aon Consulting’s findings pinpoint the average planned retirement age at 63.1 for men and 62.1 for women.

Although the choice of retirement age is governed by government policy for 14 per cent of the 1,204 respondents, more than half say their decision to retire will be governed by their state of health and their ability to carry out the job.

Forget the media’s concern with pensioner poverty – only 35 per cent say their retirement age will be governed by how much they have in their pension scheme.

Women and part-time workers were most likely to say their retirement age would be governed by their spouse or partner.

When asked about their attitude to working after the official retirement age, 53 per cent said that if they needed to they would carry on working to increase their pension. But 22 per cent were adamant they would not work after 65.

Paul Macro, head of defined contribution at Aon Consulting, said: “The survey illustrates the rude awakening facing many people on retirement. While most would like to choose when they retire based on ability to do the job, few will have built up enough funds to allow them to retire comfortably at 65 and certainly not any younger.

“The expectation gap between desires and reality is shown by the quarter of people refusing to work beyond the official retirement age, even if they haven’t got enough to retire on.

“This seems to show that many people view retirement as a right, regardless of whether they can afford to retire and we must assume that they believe that the state will bail them out.

“The government’s plans to raise the state pension age to 68 by 2046 certainly doesn’t look like it has been taken on board by most people. To address this problem, the government needs to work harder at encouraging people to accept the idea of later retirement based on affordability, otherwise we could face a huge problem in the UK.”

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