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Employees welcome the Government's decision to scrap default retirement age

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As the Government announces plans to remove the default retirement age, six in ten UK employees admit they will have to delay their retirement new research shows.

According toAon Consulting more than half (60%) of Britons believe they will have to delay their retirement because of the current economic climate, with over a third (37%) believing it will be delayed by over five years.

But one in three (31%) say they would rather stop working earlier and receive less income in retirement than have the minimum retirement age extended and a quarter of UK workers state not having paid off their mortgage is their primary concern around retiring.

Just under half of the respondents to Aon's survey (45%)said they are happy with extending the retirement age and will simply retire later as this is what they expected.

One in five (18%) say they do not have a pension because they cannot afford to make savings and 5% claim they have actively made the decision to rely solely on state benefits, leaving them at the whim of the government of the day

    Chris McWilliam, senior consultant at Aon Consulting said:"Our recent research points to the fact that the majority of Britons (60%) expect to have to delay their retirement, therefore scrapping the default retirement age to make sure people who want to work cannot be forced out seems a good plan.  British workers have significant concerns about their finances in retirement, particularly with regard to their mortgage: a quarter is concerned about not having paid it off in retirement. It is interesting to see, though, that despite significant financial concerns, many workers would actually prefer earlier retirement and less income.

    "As we await details of the proposals in the Government's Consultation Paper, we understand that employers will still be able to justify retiring an employee on the grounds of age providing this aim is legitimate and the action proportionate. Although not directly related, the Seldon case** gives a clear indication of how this could work in individual cases following the recent ruling by the Court of Appeal in terms of workforce/succession planning.

    "While we welcome the ability for people to work longer, it is clear that there are significant issues for employers.  Employers must ensure they are prepared for the implications of an older workforce, which may have an impact on issues such as healthcare and wellbeing provision and group risk costs."