By Daniel Hunter
The latest Real Retirement Report from Aviva has found almost two-thirds of employers offer no tailored retirement support to their older workers.
Today’s retired over-55s have typically been with their last employer for 16 years (around a third of their working life), and 56% of employers have spent money on providing work place benefits such as pensions, private medical insurance, and annual bonus. However, despite this investment only a third (36%) of employers provide employees with guidance in the run-up to retirement.
This lack of guidance not only highlights a lack of commitment to employee benefits but is also likely to lead to a loss of vital skills from older employees. Almost a third (32%)* of those who qualify for the state pension are still looking to work — at least on a part-time basis — so by engaging with an employee’s retirement planning a business may be able to keep their valuable employees for longer.
“In order to motivate and retain staff, many employers invest heavily in them through the provision of pensions and other benefits, but then let them drift away at retirement without providing any advice or support," Clive Bolton, ‘at retirement’ director at Aviva commented.
“The end to the default retirement age and growing financial pressures have seen a growing trend towards part-tirement, whereby older people look to cut back on their working hours but are not yet ready to stop working altogether. Employers who do not offer tailored retirement support to explain the options available, such as part-tirement, could find they are giving up on valuable employees with years of experience and knowledge.”
In fact, of the 36% of employers who recognise the benefits of providing support to older employees, the main focus is on enabling them to remain working for longer if they choose. One in ten companies say they offer workers the option of part-time or flexi-time employment as they approach retirement, and 9% look at ways to extend the careers of their employees if this is what they wish to do.
The vast majority of employees aged over-55 who have received support from their employer welcomed it, with 70% saying they found it useful. Nearly a quarter (23%) said it played an important role in their retirement planning alongside other elements, with 16% saying it was the most important part of their financial planning, and 4% saying it was the only help they received.
The most useful types of retirement support according to employees are workshops on retirement finances (35%) and written literature on retirement finances (35%). However, over a quarter (27%) said they would have liked a dedicated member of staff to discuss their retirement issues with.
“Employers who help their long-term employees feel secure about their finances in later life are likely to benefit from increased staff engagement and productivity," Bolton added.
"Too many firms are still letting their most valuable employees walk out of the door without providing any advice about life and finances in retirement, but those who do are likely to see the benefits in more ways than one.”
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