Older workers urge employers to provide more support

Article date: 11 July 2012

  • 64% of businesses don’t offer any tailored retirement support
  • 70% of employees who received support found it useful
  • The number of employees deferring their state pension increases

Aviva Real Retirement Report Summer 2012The latest Real Retirement Report from Aviva has found almost two-thirds of employers offer no tailored retirement support to their older workers.

Lack of work-place guidance:
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.

Clive Bolton, ‘at retirement’ director at Aviva commented: “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.

“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.

Valuable added benefits
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.

Benefits valued by employees:
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.

Most valued employee support offered by employers    
Workshops on retirement finances 35%
Written literature on retirement finances  35%
A dedicated member of staff to discuss issues  27%
A list of recommended independent financial advisers 21%

Source: Aviva Real Retirement Report

Clive Bolton, ‘at retirement’ director at Aviva commented: “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. 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.”

* ONS statistics – Labour market Figures – February 2012


The Real Retirement Report was designed and produced by Wriglesworth Research.  As part of this more than 13,610 UK consumers aged over 55 were interviewed between February 2010 and May 2012.

This data was used to form the basis of the Aviva Real Retirement Report.  Wherever possible, the same data parameters have been used for analysis but some additions or changes have been made as other tracking topics become apparent.

Download the Aviva Real Retirement Report - Summer 2012 PDF (2.6MB)

- ends -

If you are a journalist and would like further information, please contact:

Tom Wilson: Aviva Press Office: 01904 684283 : 07800 692053 : tom.wilson@aviva.co.uk         

The Wriglesworth Consultancy: Lee Blackwell / Ben Marquand / Emma Beresford 020 7427 1400 / l.blackwell@wriglesworth.com
Notes to editors:
Aviva provides insurance, savings and investment products to 43 million customers worldwide.
We are the UK’s largest insurer with over 14 million customers and one of Europe’s leading providers of life and general insurance. We combine strong life insurance, general insurance and asset management businesses under one powerful brand. We are committed to serving our customers well in order to build a stronger, sustainable business, which makes a positive contribution to society, and for which our people are proud to work.
We are ranked as one of the UK’s top ten most valuable brands and Aviva Plc are in the top 10% of socially responsible companies globally in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.  In 2011 we invested £5.3m into our UK communities. One in three of our employees were involved in community investment activities which included giving nearly 33,000 hours.
Aviva is working in partnership with Railway Children through the Aviva Street to School programme to get children living or working on UK streets back into everyday life. Find out more at www.aviva.co.uk/street-to-school.
The Aviva media centre at www.aviva.com/media includes company information and a news release archive.
For broadcast-standard video, please visit www.aviva.com/media/video/.
Follow us on twitter: www.twitter.com/avivaplc

Back to top