Page last updated at 00:06 GMT, Tuesday, 30 May 2006 01:06 UK

Boomers 'want to work after 65'

Richard Branson abseiling down a building
Baby boomers: Not a pipe and slippers generation

Baby boomers want to continue working past normal retirement age, according to a survey.

Fifty-eight per cent of people in their 50s and 60s who were still working said they wanted to carry on after 65 and 10% did not want to retire at all.

But 64% also felt it was impossible to get a new job once they were within 10 years of state pension age.

The survey of 1,770 people was carried out for Heyday, a new group aimed at people born between 1946 and 1965.

The organisation, which has been set up by Age Concern, is similar to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

The AARP has a strong social and political voice in the United States and also provides practical information on issues such as health and pensions.

Aspirations

The director of Heyday, Ailsa Ogilvie, said baby boomers were "reinventing retirement" and wanted the option to continue working - but on their own terms.

"Baby boomers invented the teenager, and they are creating a very modern retirement," she said.

"We are very definitely wanting to work longer and not just because we have to, it's because we want an active and full life.

This research shows that 41% of people in their fifties are not yet actively planning for their retirement
Gordon Lishman, Age Concern

"People want part-time work, or a new career direction, or maybe to go back to college or go travelling.

"But society is not geared up for it - it doesn't yet realise the aspirations of people like me."

She added that this generation also had a "squeeze" in their responsibilities as they were often looking after elderly parents and also trying to help their children get a foot on the housing ladder.

Ageism at work

Dr Philip Taylor, a researcher at Cambridge University, said that, while the employment rate among the over-50s was growing, age discrimination was "still rampant in the labour market".

"There is lots of evidence that people want to work flexibly, but on the other hand many older people who are working part time would like longer hours and can't get them."

He said employment of older workers was linked to current economic growth, and warned that employers may "revert to type" and cut jobs via early retirement if there was a downturn in the economy.

Heyday's research is released days after the government launched its white paper setting out future pension arrangements, including proposals to raise the state pension age to 68 by 2044 and a compulsory savings scheme.

Inadequate savings

Despite the high profile of Britain's pensions shortfall in recent years, a quarter (24%) of people questioned for Heyday said they were concerned they did not have adequate pensions savings.

Director General of Age Concern Gordon Lishman said one aim of the new group was to help people make sound financial choices ahead of retirement.

"In just 10 years' time almost half of the UK adult population will be aged over 50, yet this research shows that 41% of people in their 50s are not yet actively planning for their retirement," he said.

"We know that many of the problems experienced by the people with whom Age Concern works every day have their roots much earlier in their lives.

"Heyday will open up new options and opportunities for its members at a time when action can be taken providing information for better choices and enabling them to plan ahead and avoid later problems."

The group is aiming to ask 10m potential members what they want out of the organisation via a newspaper and online questionnaire.

The first of the baby boomers, so named because of the spike in births after the Second World War, turn 60 this year.



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