Page last updated at 23:00 GMT, Monday, 25 May 2009 00:00 UK

Over 50s 'needing to work longer'

A man in his 50s
The report says many over 50s will now have to work longer

Almost two-thirds of over-50s fear they may have to work longer than planned as their savings and pensions have been hit by the recession, a study claims.

The report by the Help the Aged and Age Concern charity found that 60% of 943 respondents said they might need to delay their retirement.

Savers have seen their returns fall in recent months as interest rates have been cut to help lift the economy.

Meanwhile, pension funds have been knocked by stock market declines.

As a result, the study also found that 47% of respondents were more concerned about their pensions and savings than at the start of 2009.

'Bleak picture'

The report said sentiment had been hit by the increase in the number of workers over 50 being made redundant as the economic outlook worsened.

For many over 50s, one of the lasting legacies of this recession will be a retirement blighted by poverty
Michelle Mitchell, Age Concern and Help the Aged

It points to official figures from the Office for National Statistics which show that over the past year, unemployment among people aged 50 or above has risen by 47%.

"These figures paint an extremely bleak picture for millions of over 50s whose working lives are at risk of being cut short by the recession," said Michelle Mitchell, charity director for Age Concern and Help the Aged.

"Those who do lose their jobs will face significant obstacles to getting back into work, leaving them financially vulnerable as they approach retirement.

"For many over 50s, one of the lasting legacies of this recession will be a retirement blighted by poverty."

'Pension breathing space'

The findings came as a separate report by the CBI said that firms struggling with the recession should be given more time to sort out any deficit in their final salary pension scheme.

At present the Pensions Regulator automatically investigates deficits which will take more than 10 years to repay, but the CBI wants this to be changed to 15 years.

"Even when the economy was strong, longer lives and the loss of key tax incentives had made final salary pensions very expensive," said CBI deputy director general John Cridland.

"Firms who are fighting to preserve final salary pensions find themselves punished by regulation and are much worse off than firms who offer no pension at all.

"Longer recovery periods will help firms keep their commitment to pensions without forcing them to divert critical cash flow."

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Telegraph How to boost your pension - 36 hrs ago
Management Today Magazine Downturn hitting people of all ages - 43 hrs ago
Mail Online UK Majority of over 50s resigned to working longer after pension collapse - 43 hrs ago
Ananova Older Workers Face Slump 'Double Whammy' - 45 hrs ago

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