Bringing together topical stories in the news
Money, but not as we knew it
Latest figures from Payments UK, the trade body representing non-cash payments, suggest that we’re going to need a smaller piggy bank. According to its latest report, less than half of all transactions are now made with coins and notes.
How we paid in 2015 – Source: Payments UK
- Cash – 45%
- Debit cards – 27%
- Direct debits – 11%
- Credit or charge cards – 7%
- Cheques – 1.5%
- Standing orders – 1.4%
The growing use of the internet and contactless payment are key drivers behind this change. It is predicted that by 2025 cash payments will represent just one in four payments.
But cash still has a place. For a start, it’s convenient. Also, the psychological act of handing over real cash can act as a mental brake on the all-too-human tendency to spend too much!
Regardless, it is common for things to rise in value as they become rarer. Does that mean that the pound in our pocket will appreciate in value as its usage declines? Save those (rare) pennies!
Flexibly working into later life
In response to our longer lives, many of us are choosing to work later in life. There are now more than one million people working beyond the age of 65 . To support this trend, June marked the second anniversary of the Right to Request Flexible Working for all employees who have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks. This came in the wake of the 2011 decision to abolish the Default Retirement Age, which had previously allowed employers to terminate contracts of employment at the age of 65.
Wind down, don’t stop the clock
Research by the Department for Work and Pensions found that 39% of over 50s would prefer winding down gradually with part time or flexible hours, rather than retiring altogether. The promotion of flexible working is a direct response to this growing demand. Flexible working could include job sharing, compressed hours, flexi-time or working from home.
You can find out more about help and support for older workers on the government’s gov.uk site.
We may be older, but we’re happy
New figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the UK population continues to age. The median age of the UK population (that is the age at which half the population is younger and half the population is older) at mid-2015 was 40.0, this increase is higher than the median age of 38.7 in mid-2005.
With the total population estimated to be 65,100,000, 11.6 million (17.8% of the population) are aged 65 and over and 1.5 million (2.3% of the population) are aged 85 and over.
Since mid-2005, the UK population aged 65 and over has increased by 21%, and the population aged 85 and over has increased by 31%.
While we’re ageing, other government data suggests we’re generally pretty content . Average ratings across four measures of personal well-being, in financial year ending 2016, were:
- 7.7 out of 10 for life satisfaction
- 7.8 out of 10 for feeling that what you do in life is worthwhile
- 7.5 out of 10 for happiness (on the day before the survey)
- 2.9 out of 10 for anxiety (on the day before the survey)
There’s life in us old(er) dogs yet.
Going for gold in Rio
August sees the Olympics come to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Four short years after London 2012, the occasion is sure to be another celebration of athletes from around the world as they strive to live up to the Olympic motto of ‘faster, higher, stronger’.
The modern Olympics were born in Athens in 1896, when a mere 241 athletes from 14 countries gathered to compete in 43 events . This year, more than 200 nations will strive for gold .
1896 is also a year of note for Aviva. It was the year we first offered car insurance – and also saw us provide personal accident insurance to a certain Winston Spencer Churchill, then a young officer in the 4th Queen's Own Hussars . Today there are more than 20 million insured cars in the UK, and since 1896 there have been 23 Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom, up to and including Theresa May (and Winston Churchill twice, of course).
Many things may have changed, but the desire for gold has not. Good luck to all the Olympians!