From education to employment

Five million over 50s in the UK set to retire early, according to new research

  • New research finds that 5.3m workers over 50 could retire early, risking significant further pressure on the workforce.
  • Research from tech startup Multiverse finds that a lack of modern skills is a key reason half a million workers have considered retiring early, whilst almost four in ten workers about to retire would consider staying in their job if given the opportunity to learn new skills.
  • The research comes as Multiverse calls on businesses to invest more in developing the skills of their workers over 50. 

New research from tech company Multiverse finds that approximately 5.3m of workers over the age of 50 are considering retiring early, providing a large risk to an already strained workforce.

The analysis finds that two-thirds of workers nearing retirement age (64%) have considered early retirement, while four in ten (38%) think it is likely that they will retire early.

The rapid acceleration of technology and AI in the workplace has been a factor leading some to retire early. Of the workers considering retiring early, 450,000 are at risk of being forced to do so primarily due to not having the modern skills employers are currently looking for. 

Multiverse is calling on businesses to take action to prevent these employees from dropping out of the labour market. Almost four in ten of those who are planning to leave the workforce in the next twelve months (37%) would be willing to stay in their current job if their employer offered them the opportunity to go on training courses and develop new skills. 

This approach would have the greatest impact on those aged between 50-54 – half of those in this age group (50%) say they would consider remaining in their job if offered workplace training.

Training and development has the potential to keep over 50s in the workplace for a significant number of years, the figures show. If employers invested in their learning, half (50%) of these workers predicted they would remain in their job for up to five years, almost a quarter (23%) for six to ten years, and a fifth of these workers (22%) would likely remain for an additional eleven to fifteen years.

A year on from the Government’s back-to-work Budget, Multiverse today publishes a new report calling on businesses and Government to work together to invest in major reskilling efforts as the most effective solution to keep more over 50s in the workforce.

Gary Eimerman, Chief Learning Officer at Multiverse, said:

“The rapid pace of technological change means there are growing skills gaps right across the workforce and this has one clear result: over 50s dropping out of the labour market in droves. This is exacerbated by a lack of emphasis on the importance of lifelong learning.

“The impact of this is stark: when people are forced into early retirement, businesses and society lose out on knowledge and skills that contribute greatly to the labour market. Individuals lose out too: working is about more than just making money, and we should ensure the best roles are accessible and remain accessible throughout someone’s working life.

“Our research clearly shows that we can retain more over 50s in the workforce, and even tempt many back in from retirement – but only if employers and the Government commit to a serious plan to invest in their ongoing learning. We have the opportunity to strengthen the labour market, boost job satisfaction for millions of workers, fill the growing digital skills gaps and by doing so we have a great opportunity to strengthen the labour market.”

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