Over 55s look to ‘gig economy’ to ease into retirement

20 February 2018
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People aged 55 and over are increasingly turning to the ‘gig economy’ in order to help fund the cost of their retirement.

While these types of jobs, which usually offer little job security and no pension, have been criticised, the flexibility makes them particularly attractive to those around retirement age.

Insurer Zurich says that more than a third (36%) of gig workers aged over 55 use them as a way of transitioning from full time work into retirement.

However, while this flexibility is attractive, nearly half (44%) of these workers say they were put off by the absence of employee benefits. The lack of security, holiday, and sick pay were also highlighted as big downsides to casual work.

Data from the Department for Work and Pensions shows that those around retirement age are working for longer. In the 30 years to 2015, the employment rate for people aged 50 to 64 grew from 55.4% to 69.6%.

Zurich’s research found that around a tenth of respondents say they plan to carry on working in some capacity until they are 75.

Chris Atkinson, a spokesperson for Zurich, says: “Not everyone wants to jump straight from working full-time into retirement, whether that stems from reluctance to stop a familiar routine or an enjoyable job – or simply because it will mean waving goodbye to a salary.

“As such, gig work is clearly a popular choice for near-retirees, allowing them to keep a form of money coming in without the traditional nine-to-five.

“However, as the world of work continues to change at a rapid rate, it shouldn’t come at the expense of financial protection, particularly as older workers are more susceptible to illness.  It’s incredibly important that gig workers are aware of the benefits of protection in the first place and this is where information, guidance and advice play a key role – at all ages.”

Comments

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Just as general comment, times are changing. I’m 68 and like two of my colleagues I work full time 24/7 rotating shift work and have no desire or reason to retire. My sickness record is far better than many youngsters. This 60s retirement idea is on the way out. Frankly I feel retiring at the state pension age makes you older quicker!

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