Cost of living crisis: Vast majority of over 50s plan on returning to work amid retirement squeeze

A majority of over 50s plan on returning to work as the cost-of-living crisis bites, new research has suggested.
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The report from Handelsbanken Wealth & Asset Management reveals that the overwhelming majority of workers aged over 50 in the UK will not have the luxury of retiring early. According to the analysis, 86 per cent of those aged 50-54 and 65 per cent of those aged 55-59 are considering a return to work.

The research, which investigated employment trends for workers aged 50 and over since the start of the pandemic, found that just 38 per cent of adults aged between 50-54 are confident that their retirement provisions will meet their needs, with this figure only rising to 55 per cent among those aged 60-65 years.

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Those aged 50-54 were found to be generally less financially resilient, with about half (49 per cent) debt-free excluding a mortgage, compared with 62 per cent of those aged 60-65. Two fifths of workers aged 50-54 were found to have credit card debt compared to a quarter of those aged 60-65. The study suggests that the number of fifty-somethings looking to return to work has risen throughout the year, up 14 percentage points in just six months. Almost three quarters (72 per cent) said they would consider a return to work in August, compared with 58 per cent in February.

Christine Ross, head of private office (north) and client director at Handelsbanken Wealth & Asset Management, said: “As the cost-of-living crisis continues, many people in their fifties will notice that they don’t have enough in their pension pot currently to live a comfortable retirement. It is now more important than ever to take the necessary steps to ensure that you are in the most financially robust position possible. For adults in this age bracket, it’s worth considering maximising your pension contributions with any unforeseen pay rises or bonuses and checking to see if you have any unused annual allowances that will enable you to make larger one-off pension contributions if you have additional funds, for example, from an inheritance. Some homeowners might start thinking about selling their property and downsizing to boost their retirement income.”