Connected Research

Union policy research in the 21st century

Opinions shifting towards working longer?

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A Financial Times/Harris survey of 1,126 UK adults in early May is being reported this morning as indicating a shift in attitudes towards working longer.

The poll indicates that 60% of respondents in the UK would favour working on beyond the state retirement age (currently 65 for men and 60 for women, but being harmonised at 65 by 2020) if it meant receiving a bigger pension. Only 13% said that they were strongly opposed to the idea. The survey also reported that just less than 50% said that they were more concerned about their pension that they were a year ago – around six times more than those who said they were less concerned. (These figures are very close to those produced in a different survey for Age Concern and Help the Aged, also published today).

Presumably ‘Fred the Shred’ was one of those interviewed for the survey – though there are around 90 people more in the survey who said they were less concerned about their pension than they were one year ago.

Presumably also the timing of the survey has a lot to do with the reported results. Given what has happened to the values of assets of pension schemes in the last year or so, and the likely impact on the retirement plans of those in defined contribution schemes, not to say further changes being made to defined benefit schemes,  it would be something of a surprise were people not willing to trade working longer for greater pension. Nor is it particularly a surprise that up to half of people are more concerned about their pension than one year ago.

Amongst all the recent hysteria in the press about pension schemes, we do need to remind ourselves that pensions need to be viewed in and over the long-term and that policies made from a short-term perspective are, in this context, rarely likely to prove well-founded.

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Written by Calvin

26/05/2009 at 12:38 pm

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