Too young to retire, too old to be hired – the 50+ employment paradox

Meet the paradox This month the state retirement age for men and women was unified at 65. It will move to 68 by 2039. The ‘ageing’ of the state retirement age clearly indicates the expectation by the state that people will work for longer. Given the recent increases in longevity, this would appear a reasonable expectation. However, the rate of population ageing is slowing. And many people are uncertain if they could work through to state retirement age in their current occupations – the fear of ‘working until you drop’. But the even bigger problem is that employers haven’t caught...

Over 50s employment trends today – more at work or just working longer?

New data shows an increase in over 50s employment. But some changes merely reflect movement between categories, and there are other indications that the story may not be what we think. So what are over 50s employment trends today – more at work or just working longer? New data release The new March 2018 ONS UK labour market data release tells an interesting story about over 50 employment. The report showed that employment for the over 50s has reached an all-time high of 10.1 million, the result of an established trend of rising employment and decreasing unemployment and economic inactivity...

The House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee inquiry into older people and employment – written evidence submitted by New Middle Age

The House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee inquiry into older people and employment took its first oral evidence yesterday. This is a welcome inquiry which will seek to examine the effectiveness of current Government policies to help people extend their working lives, and consider further steps which could be taken to tackle issues including age discrimination. In an excellent opening session, evidence was presented around the core issues of why more over 50s are not in work, the barriers they face and what more could be done to increase employment for this group. The session can be viewed in...

Work after 50 and the Goldilocks phenomenon – the search for ‘just right’ work

I bumped into an acquaintance today who told me that he has just stepped away from his highly senior, highly paid City job. His story made me think that, after 50, we can find work ‘too hot’ or ‘too cold’, but struggle to find work which is ‘just right’ – a Goldilocks phenomenon. Stories of work after 50 Just into his 50s, my acquaintance had found that what initially looked like a golden opportunity had rapidly turned sour – ultra-long hours, heavy travel needs, invasion of vacation time. Friends and colleagues cautioned that this stage in a career was the...

Let’s talk about retirement

‘Do Not Go Gentle’ This week’s British Society of Gerontology Conference at Swansea was entitled ‘Do Not Go Gentle’, a sentiment absolutely encapsulated by the WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) women who also this week took such exception, quite righty, to the advice of Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman MP that women who had been caught out by changes to SPA should start an apprenticeship (report here). For WASPI, the complaint is that they have not been given equal time to men to make adjustments to compensate for the pension reforms – which they support. They recognise that reform is...

Children – the best and worst thing I ever did

This wasn’t the blog I was expecting to write, being in the middle of new research on economic productivity of older workers (see here). And I rather expect to be following the proverbial lemming over the cliff given the controversial position of the issues involved. But here goes: Children – the best and worst thing I ever did. Why this topic now? I took a 15 minute break this morning and caught the broadcast of a Helen Simpson short story, ‘Café Society’ (see here); a biting commentary on the impact of motherhood on the careers of women. And it brought...

Older workers are productive and effective – making the case for the 50+ employee

The statistics show that many in the 50-retirement generation find it difficult to find work and progress their careers. But in fact older workers are productive and effective – they have unique abilities and strengths which make them a real asset in the workplace. And there is strong evidence to support employing older workers too. In this blog, New Middle Age takes a look at the Unique Selling Points of older workers. Our 50s may be our most productive decade at work It may be a surprise, but there is good evidence that economic productivity at work peaks in our 50s....