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Majority of HR employees feel pressured out as they age

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Almost half of HR workers feel pressured to retire earlier than they want to, according to research

Nearly nine in 10 (87%) HR employees believe they are being pressured out of their role once they are past state pension age, according to recruitment firm Randstad.

Half (50%) of HR professionals feel there is “some pressure” to leave at pension age, while 37% believe there is “significant pressure” on them to do so. In total, 87% believe they are being pressured out of their role – the largest proportion of any sector.

Almost half of HR workers (47%) believe age-related pressure will force them to retire earlier than they would have done otherwise. Randstad found that more than a third (34%) of HR professionals feel they will not be wanted in the workforce after reaching pension age, while a further 13% worry about age discrimination.

Minister of state for pensions Ros Altmann said she was “disappointed” that the HR profession has not yet woken up to the value of later life working. “It is a little surprising,” she told HR magazine.

“If people are pressured into retiring then their employer loses those valuable skills and experience, and HR departments may lose some of the talent that could really help them in managing an ageing workforce.

“What's needed is line manager training in the benefits of having age diverse staff and the opportunities that can be so beneficial if older employees are encouraged to work flexibly rather than stopping altogether, as well as mentoring others.”

Sally Cleary, managing director of Randstad In-House Services, said there is a genuine risk that many of the UK's most skilled and experienced HR professionals could quit when they still have plenty to offer. “You don’t need to be in HR to know this is a serious problem that needs to be urgently addressed,” she said.

“Many HR professionals want to remain employed as they get older, and given the experience and value they can add to their respective organisations employers should certainly do everything they can to accommodate this wish.”

HR magazine explores the HR impact of the ageing workforce in its February cover story.